One of the women in our Donor Family online group was remarried recently. It is so encouraging to see her find love and celebrate life and marriage again – now – in the present. Her past was there too as her first husband’s organ recipient participated in the wedding.
Another friend’s mother died from an infection she got at the hospital. When she should have been going home, she was, instead getting worse with new symptoms that took her life. This dear daughter, though angry at the hospital’s lack, has accepted the unexpected early loss of her mom. “Death,” she says, “is part of life.” Though she misses her mother tremendously, she chooses to focus on what she has – time with her grandchildren. She cherishes her memories from the past, but refuses to let her loss overwhelm her present life, and so she cheerfully continues to live in the present.
A friend lost her 5–year-old child several years ago. She and her husband recently welcomed a new baby girl into their family. It is touching to see how new life renews hope – for them and for others. Because they know with certainty they will see their older daughter again, they can live and love in the present, while looking to the future as a family again.
A young man who lost his mother, honors the memory of the wonderful person he had in the foundation of his life, and those memories inspire him to consistently make new memories with family and friends.
Two other couples whose losses are not so recent (both children had cancer) say they refuse to let the past control the present. One said though the loss never leaves, she tries to look for joy and to bring joy to someone each day. The other explained how the experience of losing a child brought about ministry to other parents.
I admire all of these people
Did you notice the similarities in these stories?
- A loss in their past increases desire to treasure what and who is in their present.
- Recalling and cherishing memories of the past by honoring how those instances provided foundational influences in our lives.
- Confidence and future hope of our loved ones—and our own— eternal destination enabling peace in the present.
- Honoring our past within our daily lives helps us to function normally and joyfully in the present.
- Sharing the experiences of past loss and gifts of life through your loved one brings hope and healing to both present and future.
Yes, I honor these parents and the hundreds more who have shared their stories – their hearts with me. I am in awe at their attitudes of more than survival, to love, laugh, serve and bless others. I also admire their choices to loosen or withdraw the attraction, craving, dependence and affection for things, and focusing that attention time and expense on people.
I admire their humility of unknowingly teaching healing — by living it. And I am anticipating a new chapter in my own healing as I meet one of our daughter’s organ recipients this month. Appreciate your prayers that I can meet their joy with grace.
What was a major step in your healing from loss?