Location: MICHIGAN, United States

Thank you for stopping by. It's my hope you find glimpses of my Savior interwoven thru my writings. I am the wife to one husband for over 25 years, a blessed mama to a dozen children, yes each born from me ~ two of which see Jesus face to face & ten at home, all of us yearning to see Jesus someday. We have been home educating for over 18 years with . . . well, another 15 years to go (the youngest is 3, the oldest 23!) I have walked through rejection, to continually learning I am CALLED, LOVED and forever KEPT by God - never, ever to be rejected by Jesus! (Jude 1:1) I've walked through deep sorrow to find that joy does come again, though the night may be long; I've witnessed God orchestrating miracles with my children still beyond my comprehension, & I am seeing new love forming as we begin a new road of older children finding life mates. My life has and is a journey, from the deepest, almost rock bottom pit, to stumbling through my faith and looking towards the ultimate climax of everlasting life in heaven. Will you be joining me here and there? ~ Loni

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


"Widow describes the loss of a spouse; orphan defines the loss of mother and father; but when bereaved parents need to tell of their suffering, no single word carries the painful message."

This is the first book I have read, that describes the personal deep grief I personally gone through in these last 10 months after the loss of our 16 year old son, Matthew. Harsh Grief Gentle Hope by Mary A. White, is her personal story of the murder of her adult, married son, while driving a taxi. Though our son died in a self-inflicted accident, the shock and horror we initially went through, was very similar.

Mary shares their journey through letting family and friends know, the shock again of an autopsy having to be done, and the mind-thoughts of thinking of that happening. She shares the blur of making the funeral and cemetary arrangements, and the overwhelmingness of family and friends continually surrounding them and how much this upheld them. This too, is a bittersweet memory for us.

What really touched me in her sharing, was the responses she received in her heart from God. This was one that did especially, at the burial of their son:

Dear God, I can't leave him here. I can't abandon him like this. He shouldn't have to stay here alone. It's so cold and lonely here. He's all by himself. Everyone is leaving. I can't leave him alone.

'My dear, he isn't alone, he's with Me. He's not here. He's happier than you could ever imagine. He is not lonely. He is not alone. He's warm, he's happy, he's alive, and he's content. He's with Me.'

I found several things so much the same in our "planning". We too had the burial before the memorial service. Another unique thing was one of the same songs was sung at both services: "Because He Lives". Though this touched "me" personally, I believe any person who has gone through the deep despair of losing a child, will find many things the same and being able to relate with the author.

The last half of the book deals with their healing and as she says is an "excruciating process. No one can predict or prescribe healing for another. Each healing is as unique as the person going through it. Each day is unpredictable. Each night brings the oblivion of troubled sleep, each awakening brings renewed pain and sorrow. Body, mind, and spirit - all are severely wounded through grief. All need healing. Each part of the human body and soul needs restoration and renewal. It takes time, a very long, painful time."

As anyone knows who has lost a loved one, which Mrs. White relates to also, is getting through the firsts. Her first holiday was Mother’s Day, two weeks after her son’s death. Our first holiday was Christmas, also, two weeks after Matthew’s death. The first birthday was very difficult (for both of us), yet she says God impressed upon her heart that she did have 30 years with him, to be thankful for. We have 16 years we are thankful for. She relates how seeing a taxi will rush back the feelings of thinking of his death. For us, it’s sirens and an ambulance. Answering the question, “How many children do you have” is one that takes a thought process. As Mrs. White learned and we have too, the answer is different according to the situation and who asks.

How do siblings relate to the loss of their sibling? This is one that we are still going through, and Mrs. White shared our hearts too when she stated: “The reality is that losing a brother or sister devastates the siblings left behind. The comfortable, familiar family structure has broken. Those remaining wonder what family life would have been like in ten or twenty or forty years. Every family gathering will always be a remind of the one who isn’t there.” She does not say, “they will get over it.”

Throughout the book, not only is she sharing her personal feelings, but what helped them get through the days, months, and years follow her son’s death. She says we cannot “practice grief” ortake lessons to prepare for it”. Mrs. White states that the period seven to twelve months after a death is generally the most difficult time. Reality sets in and shock wears off. The enormity of the loss is very real. She also says which confirmed what we have felt, is that this is the time family and friends can think that things should be back to “normal”. Because some may feel this way, she says this feeling may result in diminished sympathy, tolerance and help for your continued morning . . .The time frame may run as high as three years following a homicide or suicide [my heart says the “choking game” would fit in here because of it’s shock and self-infliction we thought at first it was suicide]. Our society doesn’t allow for this healing period. We live at a face pace and are expected to resume normal life, normal responses in a short period of time. It doesn’t happen that way. You may sustain your work schedule, but most likely your effectiveness will be reduced and your emotions put on hold while you struggle to recover.”

This book is a must for everyone. We will all face losses of some sort. We will know someone who has gone through a loss. This book will not only help a person to relate and understand their grief, but also equip them to help others in going through a loss. This book should be in your local library and church library. It would make a helpful gift for someone who has gone through a loss, and also a thoughtful idea to donate it to a library in memory of someone.

I would like to end this with a word I often use, and yet in the back of my mind, I wonder why we use the word “lost”. I often will say we lost a son. This is Mrs. White’s thoughts of God speaking to her:

". . .he isn’t lost. He’s found. He’s at home. He’s peaceful and happy, more than
you can imagine. Let your heart rest. Don’t be troubled.”