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When SADNESS Becomes a Way of Life

“I’m certain my tear ducts are empty. I’ve been a crying fool for weeks. I’ve wanted to wail and scream on many occasions, but I haven’t given myself permission yet,” Amanda said.

Amanda’s daughter Sonya died in a car crash caused by a drunk driver. Sonya left behind a husband and a baby girl. She was 26. Amanda’s small community was crushed by the news.

I looked around Amanda’s home. Family pictures were everywhere. Sympathy cards from friends, co-workers, and neighbors were piled on the entry table to the left. The house was dark, as if the family’s light had been extinguished.

“How can she be gone? Such a wonderful, beautiful, brilliant young woman. I feel robbed,” Amanda shared, putting her head in her hands. “My heart is shattered. It’s all so sad…so very sad.”


Sadness is a huge part of grief

Loss is heavy. The death of a child is crushing. It shatters hearts. Once some of the shock dissipates, a deep and abiding sadness begins to leak out of our broken hearts.

The sadness strikes as an intense, stabbing pain. Or it can surface as a dull, chronic ache. Or both.

Our shoulders slump. We gaze down a lot. We sigh more than ever. We sit for moments, even hours, without moving, oblivious to our environment. Everything seems serious, and heavy.

Our child is no longer with us. That’s sad. Terribly sad. And the sadness will pour out of us for quite some time.

Our world doesn’t like sadness. Smiling faces are expected out there. What do we do? Fake it? Deny the sadness bubbling up within us? Or do we dare express it? If so, how? And when?

Sadness is one of the most common and powerful emotions in grief. Sadness is natural, and normal. Our sadness honors our child and proclaims our love.

“I’m terribly sad. That’s natural. I love you and miss you desperately.”


Questions to consider:

What about your child do you miss most right now?

At what times do memories of your child trigger feelings of sadness?
Do you feel you can express your sadness? In what ways, and with whom?


From a fellow grieving parent:
“You will always long for your child. It will always hurt. But the longing and the pain will change over time.”


Adapted from the newly released bestseller SHATTERED: Surviving the Loss of a Child.

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About the Author

Gary Roe is an author, speaker, and chaplain with Hospice Brazos Valley. He is the author of the award-winning bestsellers Shattered: Surviving the Loss of a Child, Please Be Patient, I'm Grieving, HEARTBROKEN: Healing from the Loss of a Spouse, and Surviving the Holidays without You and the co-author (with New York Times Bestseller Cecil Murphey) of Saying Goodbye: Facing the Loss of a Loved One. Visit him at www.garyroe.com.

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