HOW DOES ANY PARENT survive the
death of a child? I cannot begin to answer this question as a professional
counselor, but only as a mother who has lived through the worst nightmare of
My husband, Cliff, and I were blessed with two beautiful sons, David
and Chris. They were the joy of our lives. As a mother, I had so many hopes and
dreams for each of our growing boys. I never imagined those hopes and dreams
would be forever shattered when our older son, David, died in a tragic car
accident at age 17.
The night of the accident, Cliff and I, along with our
15-year-old son, Chris, were terrified as we waited, hoped, and prayed that
David would somehow return home safely. The accident occurred around 10:30
p.m., but the highway patrol didn’t discover the wreckage until 7 a.m. the
following morning. When we received the horrible news, our scant flicker of hope
crumbled helplessly within our hearts.
I cried from the depths of my being. I
was emotionally numb. God, in his compassion and love, supplied my body and
spirit with an emotional safeguard that temporarily blocked out the enormous
shock of this painful, unbearable reality. A major loss such as the death of a
spouse or a child can take up to several years to heal. The bereaved person’s
body may be numbed, literally “in shock,” for as long as six months. I
struggled to believe and disbelieve that this could have happened.
on that night, it reminded me of the touching words of the poem “Footprints in
the Sand,” in which our loving God said, “During your times of trial and
suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried