Monday, September 20, 2010

Autumn's Grief

Grieving has its seasons, and autumn seems to be a particularly difficult season for those who have gone through loss. Maybe it’s the visual of seeing the flowers stop blooming and the leaves falling off of the trees. Perhaps it’s feeling the warm summer sunshine fading and suddenly feeling the lingering chill in the air. For most of us who have experienced loss, autumn is a time of reflection and bracing ourselves for the days of winter that lie ahead.

What if – what if we viewed autumn a bit differently this year? What if we reminded ourselves of how beautiful spring will be when it arrives again? What if we took the time to plant flower bulbs in the fall so that we can look for our spring following the dark days of winter? What if we promise ourselves to keep focused on the beauty of spring and summer rather than facing autumn with fear and dread?

Many years ago, following the loss of a baby boy, I went through a terrible autumn of grief. Winter was even worse, and I was not certain that springtime in my life would ever again return. I’m not sure what moved me to plant daffodil bulbs that fall, but I did. As I planted them, they were watered with my tears. The more I dug into the chilled, barren earth, the more my tears fell. Yet, I continued to dig and plant. Dig and plant. Dig and plant.

Autumn passed, the ground lay frozen and covered in snow for months in the mountains of Pennsylvania. And, my sorrow remained heavy. Little did I know how much spring would awaken my soul that year! Little did I know how much my grief would be lifted when I saw the first signs of those daffodils breaking through the ground that was now beginning to thaw! Little did I know how much of my grief would be lifted as I saw those first springtime blooms of daffodils! Hope returned! MY hope returned!

Are you facing autumn with dread and fear? Why not buy a bag of flower bulbs and plant them now? And, then wait……patiently and knowingly wait for your spring to return! And, when it does, I can assure you that it will be more beautiful than ever! –C. Hinton

“Grief endures for a season, and spring always returns!” --C. Hinton
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matt. 5:5

Clara Hinton
Mom of 11 living children
Mom of 1 stillborn son
Mom of 6 angel babies
Author of Silent Grief

Monday, September 13, 2010

How Will I Get Through the Next Day?

How will I do it? How will I get through the next day when I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel? Who really understands? Does anyone want to sit down beside me and help me through this mess in my life? I feel so alone, so broken, and so helpless!

Every person who has experienced loss has felt those same feelings of helplessness and abandonment. Life feels shattered and it seems to us that we will never be
put back together again. Our burdens seem far too big for us, and so many times we give up searching for hope.

Hold on! Take a moment to stop and breathe slowly. Close your eyes and reflect on the moment. Listen to your own heart beating and know that as long as you have life inside of you, you have HOPE!

We each have had deep moments of pain and darkness, and during those times it is hard, if not impossible, to imagine ever seeing the light of day again. But, God designed us in His image, and He has not left us alone. Our Creator has sent us the sun, the moon, and the stars to shed light even during our darkest hours.

Take a walk outside for a moment every day just to listen to the sounds of nature. Do you hear the gentle breeze blowing through the trees? Can you hear the songbird singing a song of thanks and praise in the distance? Look to the heavens and follow the clouds. Stare at them until you can see beyond the misty blue to find the breaking of a new dawn. These are gifts of hope for us! These are our daily reminders that each day brings new hope and new strength! We have not been left alone in our pain! Rather, our heavenly Father has wrapped us in His arms of love and will never let go! --Clara Hinton

“Every sunrise is a personal reminder of new hope!” -- C. Hinton

“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” -- Matthew 5:4 (From the Sermon on the Mount)