by Reverend Blue Jeans
I have just suffered the greatest loss of my life. I feel so isolated. So unloved. So
"different." And so alone. Even God must be out to get me—nothing could be
worse than to feel the way I feel. I wish I was dead.

You know what really doesn’t seem to help me at all? People who tell me they are
praying for me, or "We’ll keep you in our prayers," or "Our prayer chain will
remember you." How is that supposed to make me feel? What do they know
about my relationship with God at this time in my life? Who are they really praying
for, me or for themselves?

I want to tell them, "Hey, I’m not in the mood for your prayers. Do you realize what
God has just done to me? My life has virtually ended. My reason for living and
laughing is gone. Will your prayers bring my joy back to me? If your God really
listens to and answers prayers—why did this happen to me in the first place? You
can pray all you want, but when you’re done praying—I’ll still be hurting. I’ll still be
alone and I’ll still be mad at God."

I can’t even be mad at God in public because many of the "religious" people won’t
let me. They tell me, "It’s God’s will," and "Time will heal all wounds," or "Just ask
God for peace of mind," and "You must have faith—God never gives us more
than we can handle."

Well, I can’t handle this. I don’t want to handle this. I want my life to be the way it
was before this terrible thing happened to me. I have prayed. I have gone to
church. I have been good to others. What does God want from me, more prayers?

What I really need now (and no one is asking me what I need, but instead telling
me what they think I need) is someone to hold me, listen to me and accept me as
I am and where I am. I am all alone! I feel unlovable! Just look, even God isn’t
good to me now. There must be someone who can love me enough to take my
hand and cry with me. I need the touch of another human being.

And I need to talk—to tell you how I feel and explain what is on my mind. I’ll
explode with these "feelings" if I can’t share them soon. I need to share them in a
safe place, with people who will not judge or condemn me for having these
feelings. I do not need judgment and condemnation—I do enough of that myself.
Will someone please listen to me tell my story? God doesn’t seem to be listening
to me today, will you?

Will you meet me where I am? Can you come down to my level, that being as near
to hell as I have ever felt in my entire life, and just walk with me? Don’t lead me or
push me, don’t follow me, but walk by my side. Catch me if I stumble and pick me
up when I fall. I want to get better—but I have no idea now if I will or how I’ll ever
accomplish that task.

Finally, please forgive me. There is a small part of me that does say I will get
through this. I do want to pray again and to believe again that God loves me.
Right now I need physical proof of that love—and it will have to come from you.
Pray if you must and please realize, that for me—now—prayer doesn’t seem to
help. I need love. I need you. Will you help me?
by Reverend Blue Jeans

To those we love,

Since we parted, you have been sharing so much of us with those around you.
The memories are so fresh and real. You hold on to us so tightly in your hearts-
where we shall always be. Your concern has always been for us, but we wonder
how you are doing.

You will never know all of the prayers that have been prayed for you, the tears
that have been shed over your grief and the concern that has been shown for
you in a multitude of ways, and we find it so comforting to know you haven’t been
left alone.

Please know that we are not alone, either. The losses that have hurt you the
most have given us the gift of eternal life. God’s promises have been fulfilled in
us. When we left you, God was there, waiting, just as He promised. We’re
surrounded by perfect love. Never let anyone tell you God doesn’t exist. If you
need to be mad at Him for awhile that’s okay; He can take it. But never let hate,
anger or bitterness fuel your emotions. Talk to Him and let Him talk to you. Listen
for him in the voices of the people who love and care about you, and let His Word
reassure you that we are doing just fine.

It is comforting to know that you hold us so close while struggling with the
prospect of letting us go. You need to know that we will always be together.
Eternity is not "out there," eternity is now! We have simply moved a little farther
ahead of you.

Remember that God never wastes anything—especially love. The love that we
shared on earth will never end. For now, you must rest assured that we are safe
in God’s perfect love. We would like you to take some of the love you have for us
and share it with those around you. You can never run out of love—the more you
give away, the more you will have. And let others love you…you are worth loving.

Life is forever. Ours has changed in the twinkling of an eye while yours is
changing day-be-day and minute-by-minute. Though your lives will never be the
same, that does not mean that they cannot be filled with peace, joy and love.
Always look to the future.

Don’t be afraid of tomorrow

God is already there. Be patient with yourselves. You will make some mistakes,
and you will even find yourselves not thinking about "us" from time to time. That’s
all right too. All of our needs are being met; you need to take care of you.

Hold onto one another, help each other, give hope and love to all you meet.
Above all, be prepared to welcome others into your world of grief and mourning.
You are being taught valuable lessons that will need to be passed along. Some
will not have your strength, many will not have your faith, and most will feel they
are all alone; but all will need the love and understanding only you will be able to
give. Now, your pain is the only credential you need to minister to others.

When you think of us, never think of us as being alone. Think of us smiling,
laughing and enjoying all that God has prepared for us.

Finally, never believe you are alone. Do not focus on what you have lost, but
look always at what you have left. You are surrounded by people who love you
and care about you. Live with them, love with them, share with them and laugh
with them. Make every day a celebration of life—a life that will never end.

We will meet again, and until we do, know that we are very proud of you for never
giving up! We love you!

Your loved ones!
By Reverend Blue Jeans

Grandparents and grief.  Certainly a topic none of us would choose to explore.

Grief is a common experience—unique to each of us.  GPG is unique in so many

The problems facing grandparents can often feel insurmountable and can be
complicated by so many things beyond one’s control.  Divorce, custody battles,
adoptions, foster homes—all can alienate grandparents from their “rightful”
place.  Grief is hard enough without the added burden of broken families.  
Where once grandparents were an integral part of the family, now they may be
mere spectators.

GPG is also unique in that while grieving the loss of a grandchild, one must now
grief the fact that they are powerless to help their children who have just
endured the loss of their child.  GPG forces us to acknowledge we can no more
protect our children than we could our grandchildren.  Helplessness is such an
empty feeling.

GPG can also become difficult due to differences in religious beliefs.  Where
once a family may have practiced one religion, now we see a variety of beliefs
and practices within the family circle.  While grief often has the power to cause
us to doubt our beliefs, trying to understand someone from an unknown
perspective can be even more confusing.  Younger generations may have no
problem in questioning or being angry with God, while older generations were
taught to follow without question.  The death of a child may not be the time to
attempt converting others to one’s own beliefs, but instead is an opportunity to
allow everyone involved to discover what it is they truly believe.  

When we lose a child, we can say “my child is dead.”  When a grandchild dies.
“our grandchild is dead.”  Who is in charge?  How do we make decisions?  
Where do we fit in?  

The parents of the child who died may also feel abandoned.  With the death of a
child, we have no place else to go.  We must live with our grief.  When a
grandchild dies, the grandparents may have the chance to focus on other
grandchildren and in effect,  seem as if they have “moved on” while the parents
are left with  an empty house.  Alone!

GPG can also be a very complicated form of grief and a difficult family situation
from which to heal.  None of us grieves the same loss in the same way.  We must
always be willing to accept the differences in our actions and reactions when
facing death.  Grandparents may have been through the “funeral experience”
more, but the reality is none of us are ever prepared to say goodbye to a loved
one, regardless of our  previous  losses.

The worst loss—is your loss.  It does no good for us to compare or compete
when facing the death of a child or grandchild.  Families are tested no harder
than when a child dies.  There is no magic formula that can make everything all
right.  No miraculous plan that can make a family whole.  Grief is the hardest
work any of us will ever do.  Grief work within the family can be very difficult.  To
do the hard work of relationship repair within a family, while facing the death of a
child, is no small task.  With tolerance and acceptance of differing beliefs, and
understanding of the pain of others, there can be hope for this devastating
journey.  You can choose your friends, but not your families.  You can also
choose to make family members, your friends.  If you can’t do it for yourself and
your family—do it for the child you loved so much.