Mikey Joe, 1

Guest opinion

Last night I was talking to my daughter on the phone. She and her sweet little family had just returned to Hawaii, their home, after being on the mainland for twenty days. Today, my son-in-law returns to work. Today marks the one-month anniversary that they posted their reveal for their soon to arrive bundle of joy, on social media.

It was an exciting morning. My husband popped his head into my office and announced that our daughter had finally posted her reveal. I couldn’t wait to see it. I jumped online immediately to watch it. I laughed and cried as I watched my daughter, her husband, and my sweet grandchildren, reveal to everyone they love, that they would soon have a new addition gracing their family.

My son-in-law does not like to announce pregnancies early as he and his first wife lost a child during gestation. To respect his wishes, my husband and I must hold our excitement and happiness from our family and friends until our daughter’s baby bump becomes undeniable. At that time, our son-in-law relinquishes his secret and we are all free to celebrate.

Salutations were coming from far and wide. Friends and family were texting, posting, and phoning with congratulations, and the day was exhilarating. As my husband and I met for lunch, my phone rang once more. I looked at the caller

id. Before I answered the phone and before she said a word; I knew. Her voice was strained, she tried not to sound worried, she asked me not to worry – but I knew – my daughter was miscarrying my grandchild. My son-in-law rushed her to the hospital and by dinner, she was induced.

Our grandson was delivered in Hawaii the day his mother posted his reveal on social media – lifeless - to brokenhearted parents and brokenhearted grandparents. By nightfall, the congratulations were no longer coming. In their stead, tears filled our hearts, and condolences and flowers filled our home.

My daughter, ever so practical, immediately began planning for the burial of her sweet son. Her husband, a service member, needed bereavement leave. That meant the Red Cross would be involved. Her son would have to be flown to the mainland, as would she and her family. Of course, expenses were a concern as they live on a military family’s income. Five days later, my husband and I picked up our daughter and her family at the Dallas airport and brought them home. Two days later, we returned to Dallas for our deceased grandson. Four days later, we buried him.

Last night as we were talking, my daughter told me that she had received a condolence from a dearly loved friend who suffered a significant loss some years back. She spoke of the comfort and relief she experienced upon reading his kind and thoughtful message. Her husband finds it difficult that some of their friends avoid them. She told him that their friends avoid them not because they don’t care, but because they don’t know what to say that might help.

Through the pain of losing her child, my daughter has realized that the shroud of grief ebbs outward toward those who love and care for her, drawing on their fears and suffocating them into silence. Although her battle continues, she has fought her foe and reaches out to extend a hand of comfort and love to those whose hearts suffer over her anguish. She has become a survivor.

She has her moments, sleep continues to evade her, and tears spill at inopportune moments. I expect her sorrow will accompany her for the rest of her life. She is tough though. She understands that attitude determines outcome. She recognizes that although tragedy has visited her home, happiness and love reside there harmoniously.

Today, one month after losing his son, my son-in-law returns to work. There are no words gentle enough to soften this painful day for him. He carries a burden deeper than the sea that surrounds all of the South Pacific.

Through all of this, I have learned marvelous things about my daughter and son-in-law. I have learned that they love their Savior and follow his example. That through the adversity of a parent’s greatest pain, that of losing a child, they understand that others grieve for them. They are amazingly strong people. I am so proud of them and I know that as they travel through life, they will make it their mission to help other young parents who suffer this heartbreaking tragedy.

Tracy Renee Lee is a Certified Grief Counselor, and the Managing Funeral Director and owner of Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City, Texas. She is an author and syndicated columnist. writeing books, weekly bereavement articles, and grief briefs related to understanding and coping with grief. It is her life’s work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

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