If you are like I was when my daughter, Becca, died, I did not want to be here anymore. I even wrote in my journal, two months after she died:
So kill me, God! Do it now, please!
I didn’t think I could take the horrific pain and suffocating darkness anymore.
Day after day I wanted something to happen to me that would take me out of this world. I wasn’t suicidal, but I sure did not want to be here anymore! I could not imagine living the rest of my life in so much pain, without my daughter here by my side.
I hear and see quite often that other freshly grieving parents feel the same way I did. We aren’t usually suicidal; we just don’t want to live anymore. A part of our very being has been cut off from us and the pain is too great to continue living.
For most of my adult life, I wanted to live to be 100, like a few of my relatives. (There is longevity and good health on both sides of my family, so there is a fairly good chance of it.) But after Becca died, I took that off the table and decided the sooner I was out of here, the better!
But in God’s totally amazing love and grace, He did not answer that plea and allowed me to continue here on this earth. Yes, you read that right.
Let me say it again, just a bit differently. It is His deep love and eternal grace that keeps us here, when all we want to do is be done and go to our eternal home to be with our child.
It took several years, but I can honestly say how thankful I am that God did not answer my plea for death to take me. Why? Well, there are all kinds of reasons I have now, but truthfully, one of the main reasons is that I wouldn’t be here to encourage you!
Along with thousands of other pareavors before me, I made the transition of not wanting to be here, to being okay with it, and finally getting to where I actually want to stick around here for a few more years.
Most of us know in our heads that we have other people to live for. But it takes a while for our hearts to get past the horrendous pain, to be able to comprehend it in a way that becomes a lifeline for us.
To help get you there, pull out a piece of paper and write down at least five people who still want you and need you in their lives. (Don’t tell yourself no one needs you or would even miss you. That is the enemy feeding you lies!). Is it a spouse? Someone at your place of fellowship or a special Bible Study? A parent? A coworker or neighbor? Other children or grandchildren?
What are some things you know that are in their future that it might be kind of nice to be there to see, or be part of? Write those things down next to their names.
Put that in a place where you will see it once in a while, and even continue to add to it as you think of people or events. Eventually, you will realize you no longer need the paper.
I understand you may have the thought, “My child should be part of these things, too! Why would I want to be there without him or her?”
Unfortunately, you cannot change that, and I know it hurts! But you can get to the place where the gladness of still being here with those you love will sometimes outweigh the pain of knowing your child is missing these earthly events, because you know that he or she is part of the glorious heavenly ones.
So, if you are like I was for many years, not wanting to be here anymore, just know that you are not the only one! And know that there is hope to get beyond it. If I can, you can, too. You can have hope that it won’t always be like this. That is, unless you continue to choose to remain in the blackness of deep grief here on earth – which I hope you don’t because that is an even a more miserable place to be.
It will probably take longer than you think it should or want it to, and there can be many “setbacks,” but I can tell you, it is worth the fight. It is worth it to keep going; it is worth learning how to live a good life again here on earth until you are greeted by your child with a huge hug and the words, “You did great. I am so proud of you. Welcome home, Dad!” or “Welcome home, Mom!”
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already
begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through
the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)
There is much more to this topic, which Laura shares on the Grieving Parents Sharing Hope podcast. Click here to listen, or find the podcast on your favorite app and look for episode 217: I Don’t Want to Be Here Anymore Without My Child.
This blog and the podcast mentioned above were taken from Laura’s book Reflections of Hope: Daily Readings for Bereaved Parents. To find out more, click here.
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Expressions of Hope is provided by Grieving Parents Sharing Hope (GPS Hope). The founders, Dave and Laura Diehl, travel full time in their Hope Mobile (a 38-foot motor home) to be more easily available for speaking and ministry requests, and bringing intimate weekend retreats to bereaved parents. Laura is also a singer/songwriter and the author of multiple award-winning books.
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