I always feared losing a child. I’m not sure if all parents feel this way, but it was something I worried and prayed about. Fiona always seemed the most vulnerable of our three daughters; she was sensitive and shy, and had struggles with different fears in life, an eye surgery, eczema, and hair loss. While she enjoyed life and was a happy child, there was always a tender part in my heart for her. She required extra patience, attention and kindness to feel secure.
After Fiona died, I started reading books on grief that people gave me or that were recommended to us. This was unfamiliar territory I was thrown into; I reach for whatever guidance and help I can find. I learned that my feelings of hopelessness, guilt, fear, anger, obsessive questions and what ifs, jealousy, rage, despair, brain fog, and a wish to no longer be here were all normal feelings for a grieving parent. This was so validating and assured me that I was not going crazy, and that the feelings would not be this intense forever.
What discouraged me was hearing that the loss of a child and a sudden death were the worst kinds of loss anyone could experience. Parents should not outlive their children, and sudden death leaves no time to prepare, or a chance to say goodbye. Why us? I wondered and fear set in. I still ask why all the time, although it is not helpful as there is no answer in this lifetime. I dreaded the months and months of sadness, years of grieving, the daily struggle to live and find meaning in a world without my daughter. What would happen to my remaining family? Would we be destroyed by this tragedy? Would we all fall apart, and be forever sad? How could we go on without Fiona? Our happy, whole family has been struck such a blow.
God’s Word has been a light in this darkness. In my anger, questions, doubts, and constant sadness, I know that God is real and He is always there. I saw Fiona enter his Kingdom. She left us peacefully, reaching for the Light with a smile on her face. Jesus has been my anchor in this swirling sea of grief. He speaks to me through the Word and reading it strengthens my faith. These verses have given me strength when I fear what our future holds, because God already knows my future and He will be with me all the way and for eternity. He holds Fiona safely in His arms and I will see her again someday. His Spirit lives in me and gives me comfort.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Dueteronomy 31:8
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalms 73:26
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. 2 Timothy 4:18
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19