CS Lewis once said that "grief is like the sky, it covers everything." In recent weeks, our family has found that this is so very true. It seems that there is no right or wrong way to travel this path of grief. I have created this blog in hopes that some day we will be able to look back on our journey and see written proof that our great God never leaves us. God is good all the time.

Celebrating Laynee

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Grief Language

I love Valentine's Day!  While I hope that I convey daily to my husband and children how much I love them, Valentine's Day is a day to take just a few extra steps to show it.    We have a tradition of sharing a candle light dinner here at home,  all together as a family. I take extra time and effort to prepare a dinner that all are sure to enjoy.  I prepare cut out heart cookies personalized with each persons name.  I try to bring it all together so that in some way I cater to the love language of each individual member of our family.  I do this because they are so special and I love them so much. 

Most of us are familiar with the Five Love Languages.  Because every person is unique we have different ways of feeling and expressing love.  It is helpful to understand the love language of those whom we love.  My own love language is that of acts of service and quality time.   While I enjoy being given gifts, they mean little to me as compared to an act service or just time together.   For my birthday and Mother's Day, Jim prepares a beautiful dinner for our family, giving me a night off from the kitchen.  No gift could ever mean more to me than this act.  Our children have their own love languages as well, each of them unique and individual.

I am beginning to wonder if their is such a thing as "Grief Language."  We have seven people in our home and it seems that we all have different ways of dealing with and expressing our grief.  I'm apt to conclude that the differences in the way that grief is felt and expressed are even greater than the differenct languages of love.  This can be challenging at times.  Trying to find balance in a house filled with raw emotion is exhausting.    Jim wants to surround himself with people,  I crave solitude.  I want to remember all the things I love about Laynee, others in the house do not want to talk about her at all.  Some members of our family process the night of the accident out loud, while others seem to just want to forget.  Some shed many, many tears, others hardly ever cry.  Some want to visit her grave, others do not.  So many family members, so many ways of dealing with the pain.   Is there a right or wrong way to grieve? 

I love my children so much.  It is because of them that I find the strength to get out of bed each morning.    My love and appreciation for them has grown deeper in the face of Laynee's death.  I am achingly aware of the fragility of life.  I am painfully conscious of the fact that they could be taken from me in one final heart beat.  The fact that Jim and I miss and ache for Laynee with every breath we breathe, does not mean that our 5 living children are less important to us.  It means that sorrow is the more powerful of our emotions at this time.  At times sorrow is the only emotion that we can indentify.  Somehow Jim and I must lead the way as we navigate this path of grief, a difficult task when we often feel lost ourselves.   We must demonstrate that grieving is a vital, healty part of healing.  We must show them how to live and mourn simultaneously.   For the well being of our children, we must learn to understand and speak their grief language.


  1. we do the same valentine tradition every year. We eat in candlelight with a heart shaped pizza on our special person heart shaped charger plates. We all share what we love about each other and sometimes share what we would appreciate see changed. These small things are just as wonderful to kids as an extravigate ordeal. Keep up the traditions and if it helps you all include Laynee I think this is something you will forever do. The pain will lessen and you will fill with joy of her memories and look forward more to being able to see her again. There are some who will never have that opportunity to see their loved ones again. Those we need to pray for without ceasing. wE LOVE YOU GUYS

  2. I must tell you, though I'm a little embarrassed to say it, that these thoughts about Valentine's Day make the whole thing different for me. I've always just viewed it as a romantic thing, and my husband can't hardly stand the day, unfortunately, so it's pretty consistently a disappointment. We never made anything of it as a family growing up, so I never thought of it that way. But maybe this is how I need to focus on it now...making Valentine's Day about the girls--my little tiny Valentines. That's a better idea than resenting it. How have I missed that!?! Thank you.