Women tend to approach grief differently than men. Often women have a network of friends and relationships already in place, providing them an opportunity for deep personal sharing. Whether you are a man or a woman, you need to vent your emotions, and God uses other people to help you heal.
I think back to the days, weeks, months and even years since Cole passed away and marvel at the people God has brought into my life...and me into theirs. Obviously there are many, many women and a few men who have walked the TTTS path. But there are a great many other people who God has brought to me, to my life. People who randomly share something of grief or crisis with me without even knowing that I have lost a child. A woman who rented our trailer from me a few summers ago who had lost a child to a rare genetic syndrome when she was only 3 months old. They rented the trailer to attend a fundraiser for this syndrome in which their daughter was being honoured. Came out in total casual conversation...but what is casual about the loss of a child.
A supply staff member who came in one day and randomly told me that she had adopted a child who had special needs and had been premature. I told her I had a preemie too and that he was a twin. Her next sentence was "I have twin grandsons but my daughter lost them in pregnancy to a rare syndrome called TTTS". That is just a few of the many 'coincidences' that I have experienced. They aren't coincidences...they are God helping me to share my story and my grief to help me share my healing.
"Men don't share with each other like women do. They want to get on and get beyond it a lot faster than women do," says Pastor Buck Buchanan. "My advice for them is to get involved in a grief group where they can be encouraged."
This is very true in our house. Geoff doesn't talk as often about Cole as I do though he is most definitely more open about it then many men. But he doesn't share it with other men really and most definitely has not shared it in a group or even thought of being part of a group. He struggles with his own mental health issues and even in all the support he has gotten there he has told me that he rarely talks about grief, loss or even Cole with the professionals he sees.
I think if everyone could just open up the idea of sharing for healing they would feel so much more capable of healing.
Healing will resume when you stop trying to accomplish it by your own strength. God will move through you with His power that far exceeds your own.
2 Corinthians 129 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Lord, I need to be honest. Sometimes the pain is unbearable, even now, more then 4 years after you brought my son home to you. You have given me the courage to be real with others and to embrace Your power. You have given me the strength, skills and confidence to share my journey, my grief and my testimony with others and I thank you and praise you for this. Please help me to continue to share, especially on those difficult days. Amen.