In a heartbreaking post on her blog Scribbles and Crumbs, Lexi Behrndt, mom of one boy in heaven and one still here on earth, says,”It’s as if I told God that I’m still here, and I’m never going to leave, but please— give me a break, please. I can’t take it anymore. I can’t be any more brave than I am. I can’t stand tall if it all falls. And yet, the pieces kept falling, and the rain did not stop, and I slowly shut my heart off a little more and more, so that the pain would not be as searing.”
Lexi lost her son Charlie to congenital heart disease when he was not quite 7 months old. The pain she felt upon losing her son after begging God for his life for so many months is indescribable. But after a year of living with soul-crushing grief, a miracle of sorts occurred. “I was struck by the idea of coming alive,” she explains. “My heart was changing, and I could feel it. I began sharing, and the more I shared, the more I realized that people would benefit from tangible examples of lives that have risen from the ashes and come alive. It is possible; I just knew I needed to show them, to give them hope.”
Lexi Behrndt has come alive again, and in so doing, she’s helping many other parents do the same. She’s started the “On Coming Alive” project on her blog, and grieving parents from across the country are jumping in to tell their stories and breathe again.
Parents like Jessi Snapp, who says:
“I thought I knew everything there was to know about true suffering. I thought I knew all aspects of scathing pain.
Until I lost him — my littlest boy. Until I held him while blood no longer coursed through his veins. While all signs of his life were nonexistent. While his body grew cold against my warm skin. As rigor mortis set in. And until his body was pried from my nearly impregnable grasp.
His death forced me into an unrivaled level of pain, one I didn’t think existed.
I thought I had lived through the hardest parts of my life, but his death shoved me down to new depths. It held me under and watched me as I struggled to come up for air. Death held me under until I found the one thing that was stronger, more forceful. The one thing that could save my life from drowning by the weight of his death.
So I made a choice. I chose to wake up every day and search for my son in the beauty of the little things. The everyday things that are often overlooked. I chose to spread his love through the world like a blanket and wrap it around everyone I possibly could.”
And dad Chris Jones, who discovered a beautiful and profound link that everyone should know about:
“At least for me, I have begun to see a relationship between grief and gratitude. At first glance, they would seem polar opposites … as different from each other as oil and water, fire and ice, love and hate. Yet the more I come to experience grief and gratitude, the more I begin to see they play an important and symbiotic role.
Grief tells our heart things like, ‘How can I possibly find joy again when so much was lost?’ Gratitude responds softly, ‘Yes, it hurts, but what a blessing it was, even if only a short time.’
Grief screams. It commands and demands. Gratitude whispers. It is soft and subtle.
Grief sees only what was lost, while gratitude sees what was gained.”
And mom Allison Gauvin, whose grief has been doubled; she’s lost two children.
“Two of our children, Beckett and Clementine, were sick. Eventually their brains and bodies would give out; it was just a question of when.
As it stands now, I cry everyday. 15 months after my first child went home to Heaven, I weep. For the longest time, I would try to suffocate my urge. My throat would tighten, and the ache would rise up into my cheeks and teeth, like when I swallow too big of a bite of a bagel and it lodges in my chest.
Today, I can steal away for a few minutes and let myself have that time. I leaned into our bathroom doorframe yesterday, staring at the paned glass of our backdoor. The sun was setting, snow still sitting in the corners of the glass, like fluffy white dust that needs to be swept away. My shoulders sank down my back and I inhaled, the tears started before I finished. I did not push them down or away, instead I pulled up on those raw memories as I sank deeper into the wood. Picturing Beckett and Clementine, I rewound and played a little slideshow of my favorite moments. I focused on my pain and relaxed deep into my wounds. Grief needs to honored, it needs to be mourned. It is taxing to wither for minutes at a time everyday, but to be structurally sound I have to let the broken pieces crumble away a little at a time. I let myself have bad moments, and occasionally horrific days, because it is easier to pick myself up from the floor than to try and rescue myself from the bottom of the pit.”
Encouraged by the many stories she’s received, Behrndt has now opened On Coming Alive to anyone who is in the process of coming alive again, no matter how they’ve suffered. Check out the inspiring video she’s created below, and please know that if you need it today, there is HOPE through grief and suffering. And you are NOT alone.
#oncomingaliveThere is always hope.Maybe you know someone that could use this message today.Join us in this movement #oncomingalive.www.oncomingalive.comVoice and Video by: Luminous Light StudioWords by: Lexi Behrndt of Scribbles and Crumbs#worldreadaloudday
Posted by Scribbles and Crumbs on Wednesday, February 24, 2016