Friday, July 25, 2008

Please Be Gentle

The following poem was recently forwarded to me. Every now and then we are gifted with someone or something that speaks profoundly to the circumstances in which we find ourselves. We find solace and encouragement as another gives voice to what we would say if only we were able to adequately express our thoughts and feelings.

For my wife and I, yes, even our family and closest friends, this poem does just that. Eight weeks ago, you see, we lost our 10-week-old son, Luke, to SIDS.

Shocked. Horrified. Helpless. Hopeless. Depressed. Sad. Angry. Terrified.

Comforted. Confident. Strengthened. Hopeful. Encouraged. Thankful. Joyful.

If you've ever faced tragedy the likes of which we're dealing with, you know the emotional roller coaster that accompanies it. We've encountered all the above over the past two months... and more. But words really don't begin to describe the depth of what we feel.

I'll be sharing our story as time goes on, as well as introducing the foundation we are in the process of establishing in Luke's honor.

Until later...

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (2 Corinthians 1.3-4) (This is a post in itself)


Please Be Gentle
By Jill B. Englar

Please be gentle with me for I am grieving.
The sea I swim in is a lonely one
and the shore seems miles away.
Waves of despair numb my soul
as I struggle through each day.
My heart is heavy with sorrow.
I want to shout and scream
and repeatedly ask 'why?'
At times, my grief overwhelms me
and I weep bitterly,
so great is my loss.
Please don’t turn away
or tell me to move on with my life.
I must embrace my pain
before I can begin to heal.
Companion me through tears
and sit with me in loving silence.
Honor where I am in my journey,
not where you think I should be.
Listen patiently to my story,
I may need to tell it over and over again.
It’s how I begin to grasp the enormity of my loss.
Nurture me through the weeks and months ahead.
Forgive me when I seem distant and inconsolable.
A small flame still burns within my heart,
and shared memories may trigger
both laughter and tears.
I need your support and understanding.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
I must find my own path.
Please, will you walk beside me?


Anonymous said...

Greg, Nicol, and Summer,

This poem gets right to the heart of the matter, doesn't it? So grateful for those who have walked similar roads and are able to help express the honest thoughts and feelings of the journey -- whether it's a poem, a blog or lyrics to a song.

"The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them."
Psalm 34:7

"You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me."
Psalm 139:5

"As the mountains surround Jerusalem, the Lord surrounds His people now and forever."
Psalm 125:2

In the words of Beth Moore, nothing can close in on you without closing in on Him first. God alone can be both the watchman and the wall.

Lord, go before them, follow behind them, lay your hands on them. Surround them like a ring of fire, like a chain of mighty mountains. They belong to you, Lord. You will not let anything break your grip. You are faithful to your Word, Father. Comfort them and quiet them with your love.

I wish I could be there to walk this journey side by side with you. You are always in my thoughts and prayers and I am just a phone call away. We are looking forward to spending some time with you in a few weeks. I miss Luke so. Sweet baby boy.

Love you,

kim said...

We would love to come along side of you. Even though we are miles a part. How rich is the family of God. How close we become because of HIM!
My song and prayer continue to be for you verse 2 of He Hideth My Soul:
A wonderful Saviour is Jesus my Lord, He taketh my burden away; He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved, He giveth me strength as my day.
Loving and praying from Vermont (in modern English!),
Your cuz (kim & dale carr)

Sara said...

Thank you for sharing this poem. It speaks volumes. I hope you don't mind if I borrow it to share with others.

Anonymous said...

It is beautiful how the poem sums up what is probably difficult to speak.

the roberts family said...

Dear Greg and Nicol,
We don't know you but want you to know we have been praying for you. We found your blog through Angie's blog. Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem. We are praying for the comfort that can only come from and through Him for your family. Thank you for sharing your hearts.
The Roberts Family

Gail Lynn said...

Greg, Nicol and Summer,

I too have been in those waters for a year, now. We just passed the first anniversary of my Father's death July 31. Mama died April 21, just 101 days prior. In between both of their deaths, I received papers for a divorce that "totally blind-sided" me. BUT, I have been clinging to II Corinthians 4:7-10 (NLT) 7) We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 8) We are pressed in on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9) We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10) Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

God has been so faithful to fill the voids I have needed to be filled with His people's love and support. You have been and continue to be in my prayers since the "moment" I heard of your loss. God bless and keep you close in His arms.

Gail (a Sister in Christ)

Erin said...

I have no words, but know that I am praying for you...for healing...for wisdom...for peace. I do not know you, and I did not hold your little boy, but I am mourning your loss. May God just surround you both with an amazing love.

Michele said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I know there are no words to say to take away your pain but know that I am praying for your family.
God be with you all.
Love Michele

Kaira said...

I imagine that poem really does describe your emotions quite well. My cousin was a victim of SIDS. I am so sorry for your loss. Such empty words but I will pray for you.

D & A said...

praying for you all.

Kim D. said...

I love the poem you shared. I lost a baby this past February and could relate to the poem in so many ways. Thanks for sharing.

Praying for you and your family tonight.

Marie said...

I am praying for all of you. God bless you for sharing your hearts.

Amy said...

Found your blog through Angie's. you have spent many nights in my prayers!
God Bless you and your family. and my prayers will not stop for you.

Steph said...

My husband and I have read your story and cried. As parents of young children and children of the Almighty, we come along side you in prayer during your time of sorrow and your future journey. At the moment the only verse I have is Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding".

txmomx6 said...

Thank you for sharing this poem. It describes what I am feeling, too, and echoes some of the thoughts I've posted on my blog.
My 47 year old husband died suddenly on Dec. 18th, 7 months ago.
Your family is surrounded with God's love and with my prayers (and those of many, many others).
I'm so very sorry for the grief you now bear.
I hope it's OK to post this poem on my blog.

Linda Kneefel said...

Dear Greg and Nicol,
Love you both.
Linda Kneefel

Rachel said...

Oh what a precious poem that seems to capture the moments you are feeling.

Paula Hamernick said...

Hey guys, I am so glad you have started a blog. There is alot to say for journaling the journey, so much to express. Thank you for sharing it with us. So many have been praying and wondering. It is good to hear from you! Thank you for your courage to be open.

We are still trying to carry the burden.

Joel and Paula Hamernick

SJL said...

Dear family, I have followed your story through Angie's blog and wept with you. I am here praying for you as you grieve and move forward each day. Thank you for starting your blog and sharing with us.

Sari Farrell

SJL said...

Dear family, I have followed your story through Angie's blog and wept with you. I am here praying for you as you grieve and move forward each day. Thank you for starting your blog and sharing with us.

Sari Farrell

Kathy said...

Thank you so much for sharing this poem. It's definitely a God thing that you posted it on the exact one year anniversary of my Mom's death (at the age of 53). While my loss is not the same as yours, I share in the journey of this awful thing called grief. I long for the day when He truly will wipe every tear from our eyes (Rev. 7:17). My prayer for you is that you may cling to that promise, as well. God bless!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the poem. I don't know you personally, but somehow came accross your blog today. We lost our infant daughter a little over a year ago. This poem completely sums up my feelings over the past year. Grief definitely changes over time, and never really goes away, just takes on new forms. The pain of losing a child is immeasurable, and something I hate to hear others must suffer with as well. I am forever changed, miss my daughter forever, and will always have a place in my heart for her. I know you must be going through similar feelings. I pray God will grant you peace through this difficult time. How wonderful that you can look forward to seeing your precious son again one day in heaven. May God blass your family.

Jessica said...

What a handsome and beatiful boy. Tears run down my face as I read you posts, I'm filled with heartache, as a mother myself, that you have been experiencing a parent's worst nightmare. My family will pray for yours, and that you will be filled and strengthened with our Father's Love as you endure this journey of grief.

Anonymous said...

It has been 31 months since my 16 year old son Elliot left this world for his eternal rest with our Savior; 31 months since my life as I knew it ended forever. Gone are all of my hopes and dreams for his future and my own. Gone is his voice, his smile. Just on the verge of adulthood, he had so much to live for, so much to share with the world. My arms are so horribly empty. All that is left is God's hope and God's promise of a joy beyond all imagination; That land where he resides, with my Elliot along side him. God Bless you and your family, and thank you for sharing your story.