You Really Should Read This

One of my daughters told us yesterday of the accidental death of one of her high school classmates.  She also passed on the Facebook posting of his wife with a message to those who would be interacting with her and her children over the coming days.  I’m not sure if it is totally original or if she just sat down and wrote it but it is really quite good — and it is guidance that we should all consider — I’m touched by her faith and understanding.  For privacy purposes I’m not going to pass on her name but as you read please keep her and their three young children in your prayers.  She wrote:

“So… a few requests in the coming days/weeks/months as you are around my kids.  Please share this if you’re local to me and people you know might be around my children.

“It is extremely important to me that our faith and our God are safe places for them.  That being said there are some common phrases people say with very well intentioned hearts but aren’t actually helpful.  I’d prefer you not to use them with my children:
-God loved your daddy so much he wanted him home.
-God needed him in heaven
-God was finished with him here so took him to a better place.

“All of these types of phrases paint a picture of a selfish God who takes care of his needs before our own and that is not at all the God we believe in and worship.  We worship a God who loves us more than we can imagine, who gave his son for us so that we might live in eternity with him.  This is not his fault.  My kids need a safe place to lay down their questions and fears and I cannot think of safer places than the foot of the cross or my own heart.  We cannot ruin that for them.

“IF you need to say something:
God loves you
God is going to take care of you
We love you
We are going to take care of you
Your dad loves you
Your mom loves you
Your mom is going to take care of you.
I’m sorry but we will get through this scary time.
I love you.
We love you.
Want to play?

My kids do NOT need to stay strong or listen or behave a certain way to make this easier on mom who is sad.  If you happen to be assisting with childcare do not reference such things.  Their grief will manifest in a variety of ways but they shall not be required to stay strong for me or do things to make it easier for me.  They are children.  I’m the parent.  I have adults who are strong for me.  Let them grieve.  Let them be children.  Love them in the place they are at.

“Thanks for respecting my thoughts in this matter.
Thanks for loving us in this tragedy.
Please share as appropriate.”