It was a crisp November morning when my little sister Ann, two other siblings and myself headed to the school bus stop.
It was a crisp November morning when my little sister Ann, two other siblings and myself headed to the school bus stop. We boarded the bus and I assumed that Ann had followed. The day started as all others but it turned out to be a day that changed my life in ways I could not have perceived. In my book “Becoming Visible-Letting Go of the Things that Hide Your True Beauty” I tell about the most painful event in my life and the lives of my parents and siblings. When the bus made the next stop, a student held up a shoe and the kids on the bus laughed. When I saw the shoe, my heart sank, I knew it was my sister Ann’s shoe and I hurriedly got off the bus and ran up the small hill to our house. There, I found Ann lying in the road. The driver had closed the door on Ann’s foot, knocking her out onto the road. The bus had run over and killed her. At the time, I didn’t realize that the bus had crushed her small body.
I cannot describe the toll Ann’s death took on our family. Ann’s picture (the one above) hung over the fireplace, in my parent’s living room but my family didn’t talk about her. My mother who had previously been filled with happiness, but after that day she never laughed again.
Many times, in large families, older children help care for the younger. I was a teenager and the oldest still at home. Ann was eight years old, I made her clothes, cut her hair, dressed her for school, helped with homework and carried for her and if she were my own child.
Recently, I posted an item about that day on a local Facebook Group and was amazed and surprised at the responses that reflected the grief others experienced. Many of the other riders on the bus related as to how it has affected them over the years. In my grief, I did not realize that other kids on the bus also suffered. In those days’ schools did not provide grief counselors when students suffer traumatic experiences and many of my fellow students have struggled throughout life with what happened that November morning.
Grief has a way of making you feel isolated. Perhaps you have experienced a loss so gut-wrenching that you wondered if you’d ever be able to go on with your life again. Our family retreated into denial. Today there are professional grief counselors to help people move through the grief process, if there were services to help work through the grief, we didn’t know about them and we suffered, independently, and alone. It is important to realize that a person who is grieving deeply can withdraw and become emotionally fragile or even explosive. Grief can cause the person suffering to internalize conflict and suffer from unnecessary guilt, anxiety, sickness, and even self-rejection. Many people never work through their grief. Many marriages end in divorce after a child dies.
Jesus understood grief, The Bible tells us in John 11:35 “Jesus wept” when he learned of the death of his friend Lazarus. I verse 36 the Jews said, “see how he loved him”. In Matthew 5:4 Jesus made the following statement when preaching the Sermon on the Mount “Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted”.
Grief comes in many forms, the death of a dream, a marriage, a troubled child, abonnement and the list goes on. Grief is not something that you get over, it’s a process. I buried my grief. I literally dug a hole in the back yard with a stick and symbolically buried my feelings. That day, I made a commitment to myself that I would never experience that kind of pain again because I would never feel for anyone with that kind of love. It wasn’t until I had a daughter of my own that I started to talk about Ann. No matter how many tears are shed by talking about your pain, it helps you heal at little each time.
If you’re dealing with grief, I suggest that you seek Christian Counseling and when asked, talk about your loss. The key is not to bury grief but to face it, pass through the grief process and fully accept the love of Christ who understands our grief and desires to comfort us. It took a long time for that to occur in my life and I still have scars. My prayer if that if you have buried grief, for any reason, you will uncover it and accept the abiding love of Christ and surround yourself with people who love and pray for you.
Lifeway Christian Resources has many Christian Books on Grief that can help with those suffering from grief. They can be found at Lifeway.com.
Read more about my personal journey after the death of Ann in my book “Becoming Visible-Letting Go of the Things that Hide Your True Beauty” you can order it from to my website or you can find it on Amazon.
I have written a book entitled “Becoming Visible-Letting Go of the Things that Hide Your True Beauty” and now I am writing a blog that shares my heart with women everywhere.
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“A dream is a goal that is created within the heart.” - Sue McGray
Sue is a motivational speaker whose life was transformed by Christ. She wants to encourage and minister to other women who struggle with a lack of self-worth, fear, insecurity, self-doubt, shame, and regret.