This was written first on 1/19/17.
I was led to reply on FaceBook to a friend's post about the destruction of her life as she knew it—the details aren't mine to share. However, I was able to speak some hard-won hope to her grief.
"Honey--you're grieving! And it's more than grieving the losses you've suffered--it's also grieving the dreams and that's so much more difficult to come to terms with. I know. I deal with that with my illness--I can't go on the church mission trip to help build homes in Mexico and stuff. I always wanted to be able to do that. As the time grows closer, it will be harder! I grieve the what might have beens for my my learning disabled son--probably a traumatic brain injury from birth or an allergic reaction--or both. He's brilliant but many can't see because of the ways he's also broken. I understand this kind of grief and at these times, existence is good enough. Love you and praying that at some point, the pain will lessen and the grief will have less freshness and power over you and that the times these aren't in the front of your brain will grow longer. Then, you will do more than exist--you will live. You are a very strong woman but you have been shaken to your core. Everything you're going through is normal. I stand on the other side of many of these times to tell you that it does get easier and it's even possible to be thankful for them. I know that is not believable now. So, you need to trust those of us who have walked our trials to the gratefulness along with the grief. I have had to do that and now it's my turn to extend the hand of loving help to another. Rest well and keep existing--that's enough."
I should have added, "for now."