About Me

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South Africa
My husband, Brett and I live in beautiful South Africa and have been blessed with the most precious family. We have 2 very beautiful and brave daughters, Tianna (15) and Angelee (12) and a very precious little boy called Zac who touched our hearts forever in his 1 day here on earth. We never would have imagined that we would have to live this side of Heaven without our sweet boy who was born with half a heart, but every day Jesus carries us through and is teaching us more than ever how to live, laugh and love fully. 3 years ago our faithful Great Restorer graciously blessed us once again with another son ... our beloved Gabriel ... a ray of sunshine in all our lives! "Love in Action" is our journey as a family to love the way Jesus is teaching us to love and live.

Blog Archive

04 October 2012

The Waves of Loss One Year Later

After the last emotional few days, I realised that I still need to continue to write about my journey through grief and loss. I am still healing. Working through my own pain I am very much aware of the loss that many others around me are negotiating too. While not everybody has to negotiate child / infant loss ... every single person has their own losses, disappointments and heartaches to work through. This last week has shown me once again that most of us don't know how to negotiate loss. It is unchartered waters for us ... a path that only God can graciously guide us through. While we can draw from others experiences through loss, we all go through it in our own way. We don't really know what will trigger our pain. I know for me that I will go through long periods of feeling 'fine' and then something said or done or a memory can trigger me back to the pain. In our family, Brett, the kids and I have all gone through it in different ways or in different stages. I'm learning that, that is ok. 
I have also learned that grief has a way of taking you by surprise at times. Over this last year I have had to accept that no body can ever make it right or fix it. I have experienced it myself in walking with family and friends who have lost loved ones. Especially when it comes to my husband and girls, I wish with all my heart that I could take away their loss, pain and sadness. I wish with all my heart that this part of their story was different. But in it all I have seen how God has graced each of us to walk through this chapter of our story.
I think we all wish we could take away the pain of our loved ones when we see them hurting, but there is only One who can truly lead us through the pain and that is the One who has negotiated it personally Himself ... Jesus. Only He knows our hearts and the pain we carry. Because He knows us each so personally, He is equipped and is able to walk with each of us at our own pace to gently mend and restore the broken places in our hearts. Oh yes, He certainly does use peoples kindness and compassion to ease the load ... but the true heart mending is done by His loving hands as we allow Him into those broken places. People's love can take you a long way ... but His love is willing and able to go the whole journey for as long as it takes.  
So as I take that in this morning, it allows me to hand over to Him all the disappointments, hurts or pain that come with grieving. It is bound to happen that someone will say or do something insensitive that will trigger pain. Sometimes (especially in dealing with the death of a loved one) it is the disappointment that comes when people close to you forget - or you think they forget because they don't speak to you about that precious person or milestone in your life. It is in these times that I am learning that people never intentionally mean to hurt you. It's just that most people don't always know when, what or even if you want them to say anything at all in case it makes you hurt more. And the truth is that some days we want to talk and at other times we want to work it through alone.
For me personally, going through Zac's first angelversary was so much harder than facing his birthday the day before. The day that he was born was a day of pure joy for us as a family. That is what we chose to remember on his one year birthday. We only had hope in our hearts that entire day. The next day was the day that took us all by surprise. We always thought that SOMETHING could be done. We never allowed ourselves to anticipate an earthly lifetime without him being in every one of our memories and adventures. We loved him too much to even imagine that. Maybe that is especially why my emotions have been so raw this whole week as I have had to re-negotiate those memories. It's not the same despair that I felt this time last year, but it is having to face the whole in my heart this side of Heaven as I miss him. Having another baby boy growing within me is a tremendous gift and joy to us, but Gabe is another child all together. He is not and was never given by God to be Zac's replacement. He is a double portion of joy to our family though, and the Lord has graciously used him already to heal so much within us, but he does not take Zac's place in our hearts. He has his very own place in our hearts, just like each of our daughters do. The pain I am working through is not a pain without any hope, because God has graciously given us beautiful perspective on where our big boy lives and awaits us. I am learning to just lean into God once again as I miss my boy and deal with the sadness of him not being here with all of us each day. My love for him compels me to keep dealing with my loss.
And so that is why I continue to write about my journey through grief, because it is not something that I ever want to shove away and never deal with. I want to go through this journey honestly with God ... on the good days and the tough days. I want to live in honesty that grief takes time to heal and yet still declare for the world to read that God IS faithful to draw so close to the brokenhearted to heal and restore and bring joy and comfort with each new day. One year later and I can say that although there have been many hard days, He has never left me to negotiate one moment alone. He is the God who cares to draw close. He is the same One who holds my son close even as He holds my heart close to His. He is the One who negotiates the waves of loss with me one day at a time and faithfully gives me hope and peace. I want to keep writing for all those who are in the middle of grief, consumed with pain. I want to promise you that God knows exactly how to meet you in the depths of your brokenness to begin to bring beauty from the ashes that surround you. He is able to lift your head gently, wipe away every tear, hold you close and reveal His rainbow of hope to you today. No brokenness is beyond His repair. How He sees and knows and opens His arms to hold you close today, even as He is holding me close.
All my love xxx
Janine