Grieving Forward

When we lost Tyler, one of the best gifts that i received was a book entitled Grieving Forward.


The book is written by a christian author, Susan Duke, who lost her teenage son tragically in a car accident. She talks about the shock and denial, the pain that she thought will never go away, and the struggle to find a new normal in her life.

Here is an excerpt from the book.

"They were the words every mother prays she will never hear.  
Words I had told God i could never bear.  'I'm so sorry,' the doctor whispered, 'we couldn't save Thomas.'  I grabbed the doctor's hands and searched his steel blue eyes for one fragment of hope.  "There must be some mistake,' I said desperately.  "You must have my son confused with someone else in the accident."
But his tear-filled eyes told me he had nothing else to say.  From a place deeper than I knew existed within my soul, a slow, wailing groan began to rise.  Suddenly drained of all strength, I fell to my knees.
The groan became a wild cry.  I couldn't silence the resounding "No!" that escaped my lips and echoed down the hospital corridor.
My face felt hot.  My heart pounded violently.  But my body was as lifeless as the cold tile floor beneath my knees.  I silently screamed, 'Where are you, God? How could you let this happen? I thought we had an unshakeable understanding! I trusted the promise I've read countless times - that You will never give anyone a greater burden than they are able to bear.'
That promise, standing like an invisible guardian over the most vulnerable part of my heart, had secured my faith in my God"


I remember reading the book and thinking that it was exactly how i felt when we lost Tyler. The circumstances were definitely different, but the pain of losing a child felt very familiar. The author wrote about things that made me understand how i felt. She talked about the questions in her mind that mirrored mine.

One thing that most parents who experience loss would say is 'Why did God have to bless me only to take away so soon?' I had the same question before. But also i remember feeling the joy of knowing I was pregnant, the 9 months of motherhood bliss, and even the honor of being a mom to Tyler. Would i really stop loving just to avoid getting my heart broken?

This is what the author had to say.

I thought of the eighteen years of blessings my son had given me: the joy, the laughter, and yes, the dancing, for Thomas loved to dance.  There were times, i admit, i halted between the great memories and the ever-present pain of his absence.  I still have days when missing him is almost more than i can bear.
One day, after a time of pleading with God to take away the pain, my thoughts turned to a 'what if' that changed my perspective and helped me gain acceptance in my grief.  What if I had been given a choice of having and loving Thomas, knowing I'd have him only for eighteen years, or not having him in my life to love at all, thus bypassing the pain:  what would i have chosen?
What would you choose if given the choice? Would it be easier to live without the depths of love you've experienced? Would it be worth the assurance of never having a broken heart?
I can't help but believe, despite the grief that shatters our hearts when we can no longer feel our loved ones' physical embrace, the price of pain is worth all the love they brought to our lives while they were loaned to us by God.
When all is said and done, and i close my eyes each night, i am thankful.
For i know, in spite of my pain, if given the choice, I wouldn't have missed the dance"

More than just the words of the book, one that made this gift extra special were the written post-it notes by my friend, Caths, who gave me this book. She read the book before giving it to me to better understand what we were going through. As she read it, she inserted inspiring notes in the book such as the ones below. This is definitely one of the most sincere gifts i have ever received.
"Fan, through your grief I've come to learn new things, new insights.  Today is your birthday,  I hope that somehow, you will find courage to make new memories."
"Fan, may the question in your heart be quieted (perhaps not by answers) but by love.  Even this grief will not separate you from His love."

For those times when you do not know what to say and how to comfort a loved one. I recommend this inspiring book.

Life may not always be fair. But God is good.

Job 12:22 "He floods the darkness with light; he brings light to the deepest gloom."


Anonymous –   – (September 26, 2012 at 10:11 PM)  

hi tiffany, thanks for sharing this info. where can i buy this book? ive been wanting to buy The Gift of Time by Deborah L. Davis but i cant seem to find it in bookstores. - Lalaine (mommy of angel Hailey)

Tiffany  – (September 27, 2012 at 7:39 AM)  

Hi Lalaine,

I haven't seen this book in the regular bookstores but maybe you can check some Christian bookstores like OMF in greenbelt. If it's not available there, the best way would be to order online. Let me know if you can't find it. i'll help you source it out.

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