Today, several years have passed since balloons were released and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was sung at a touching Celebration of Jayden’s life at her preschool. Through their pain, Jay and Mandra continue to grow in their love for each other, and for their beautiful children, Chloe and Austin. Jayden’s legacy lives on in their hearts and in the many lives she touched in her four short years on earth. This family continues to inspire all who know them.
If you have experienced the loss of a child, please don’t lose hope. You won’t get over this, but you will get through it. What I mean by that is that “normal” will never be what it once was, and on this side of heaven there will always be a deep wound you carry within your soul, but if you’ll trust God and lean on your spouse, you will get through the unimaginable pain you’re feeling and you’ll find moments of joy again.
Don’t try to do it on your own. Get counseling and find community support. Lean into your faith and know that you have a savior who will carry you through this storm if you’ll let him. Don’t judge your spouse for grieving differently than you do. Grief is like a fingerprint; it looks different for everyone. Support each other. Lean on each other. Face the pain together.
One of my best friends is a former co-worker named Wes. He and his wife, Kellie, lost their firstborn son to a rare genetic condition when he was only one year old. Graham was the light of their life and his death shook them to their very core, but they resolved together to face the tragedy with faith in God and support for each other.
They’ll always carry that deep wound until the beautiful reunion with Graham in heaven, but their home is once again filled with the sounds of laughter. They recently adopted twin baby girls who have brought such joy. Wes summed up the complex mixture of emotions he’s facing in this season by saying, “The heart is truly complex. I can at the same time say that I carry a deep wound, and yet, I’m a truly happy man.”
This is possible for you too. If you’ve lost a child, you’ll always carry a deep wound, but you can still find joy. I pray that the peace Christ brings would fill your wounded heart and bind you and your spouse even closer together in the days ahead. Don’t lose hope. Remember that because of Jesus, death isn’t the end of the story. In Him, all pain is temporary and all joy is eternal.
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This article originally appeared here.