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Get Over Grief. Cry it out.

by DrLeAnne Deardeuff on December 5, 2013

My son died 8 years ago Thanksgiving weekend. This was probably the hardest thing in my life. He was a 24/7 child. He had mild CP and profound Autism. Occasionally he would have hard seizures that would put him in a coma. We would take him to the hospital and they would give him a shot of something and wake him up. From the time he was born I knew that my son could die at any moment. But when it happened I still went into shock. Enoch's gravestone

The police came and took him away and cordoned off our home. We were now all murder suspects for a week. Fortunately for us, I had a huge file of every doctor appointment I have ever taken him to. I had notes from them about his health and his seizures. In the end it said he had died of natural causes.

When the police arrived at our door followed by the ambulance, people began to pour out of their doors to see what they could do to assist us. The police told us to leave the house and they yellow taped the area. Our neighbor up the road told us to come up to their house. It was Sunday and all of us had just come home from Church. This kind family had their Sunday meal all ready on the table. Our older children who lived in the state arrived about that time also. This family opened their home to use and fed us.

On the way to their home, a neighbor came and grabbed me. She could see my stricken face. She walked me up the road and every few steps she would whisper in my ear to breathe. She said I would stop breathing and it was still important for me to breathe.

Later when we were allowed back in our home, neighbors came bringing food and groceries and hugs. So many of them were crying also.

What was my biggest take away from this time? It was about grief. So many well meaning people would try to comfort me by saying, "Why are you so sad? Don't you know that your son is in a better place?" I wanted to get angry at them. I wanted to yell and say, " Of course I know he is in a better place! Just let me grieve my son! I miss him! I loved him!" But I didn't. I would give them a hug and say "Thank you."

I learned that grief is one of the highest forms of love. It is telling the person that you loved with all your heart and that you missed them. It is perfectly all right to sob until your heart breaks. Christ tells us that he wants a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And when your heart breaks then He can step in and fill it with his love. His comfort is beyond anything that any human can give you. Allow Him passage into your heart.

The police gave me a booklet on the 7 Stages of Grief after a loved one dies. http://www.recover-from-grief.com/7-stages-of-grief.html. It says that these stages could come in any order and we all deal with them differently. But we will go through them. The first time I went through grief was when my mother-in-law died. Not only did I experience her death but the death of an expectation of being able to live next to her at some point in my life and letting my children experience her love as a grandmother. It took me 15 years to stop being angry at God that He had allowed her to die.

I don't remember going through the anger stage after Enoch's death. Perhaps it was because I allowed the grief stage to run its course. Julie Axelrod said in her blog http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages-of-loss-and-grief about the 5 stages of death "Coping with loss is a ultimately a deeply personal and singular experience — nobody can help you go through it more easily or understand all the emotions that you’re going through. But others can be there for you and help comfort you through this process. The best thing you can do is to allow yourself to feel the grief as it comes over you. Resisting it only will prolong the natural process of healing."

In our lives we will go through death in many different forms–death of a loved one, death of a friend's loved one, death of a relationship, death of a pet and even death of an expectation.

As Julie says feel the grief let it pass. I think it was this that made it easier to cope with Enoch's death. It was the tears that flowed. It was the broken heart. It was the Savior stepping in to comfort me. It was truly His love that brought me through it. May He heal your broken heart that has broken in so many ways this year.

With love, 

 Dr. LeAnne

  • dj2me

    Grief is a natural part of life and those that cannot grieve have just as hard time loving

    • http://drleanne.xyz/ DrLeAnne Deardeuff


  • susannah pipkin

    Dr. Leanne. I love this. The fact that you admit the realities of grief are so refreshing. I have had a hard time understanding stories of when someone experiences trauma, then they just go to church the next day. Sometimes people convey that faith will help us to avoid all the steps of grief but you so perfectly stated that all the stages of grief are necessary. I have not experienced what you did, but this post was has helped my understanding. Love you my dear

    • http://drleanne.xyz/ DrLeAnne Deardeuff

      Dear Susannah,
      I believe that Grief is just another way to come unto Christ. What a better way then to have a broken heart which is what He wants anyway so we can be healed through him.

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