“What happened?!” It’s the question that we still receive frequently. Either with good intentions or pure curiosity, people want to know how Jane died. Early on I felt like everyone knew the details of her death and I was surprised to find out how many close friends and family members had no idea what had taken place on February 24th. My own trauma and grief was so strong that I couldn’t understand why others didn’t know. Then I couldn’t understand why others were asking. “What does it matter?!” I felt like screaming. “Jane isn’t here, do you really need any other information?!” I haven’t shared many specifics about Jane’s death and the reasons for my limited information is tied to the varied reasons people ask.
I have had safe places to tell my story. No more is needed and I will not apologize for that.
Whether you understand this or not, it is incredibly painful to relay the details of my daughter’s death. There is trauma and grief so intricately tied to the events of February 24th that I don’t usually feel like reliving through a Facebook message, text or in the cereal aisle at the grocery store. I have had safe places with counselors, support groups, a few trusted friends and my own family to tell my story. No more is needed and I will not apologize for that.
There have been occasions when I have told reporters, strangers and acquaintances that I prefer not to share anymore about Jane’s death. I appreciate when people are understanding and respectful. My husband is asked frequently how his two-year-old daughter died. Often, when he responds, “It was a playtime accident” people continue to press with follow up questions. Please don’t be that person. Accept the information that is given and offer your condolences.
Sometimes I can tell when there is a genuine spirit of concern. Many of our friends from different locations that we haven’t been able to see for many years asked out of concern they had missed something going on in our life. Had Jane been sick? Was there a diagnosis they didn’t know about? But these same people were content with any amount of information that was given. We have also had faithful prayer warriors genuinely want to pray with us against future anxiety and fear for ourselves and our children. These faithful saints also accept however much information is shared.
I hope to offer encouragement and shed light on well meaning statements that are painful.
I will be taking the next few posts to address those that ask out of fear, curiosity or pure gossip. It is my desire to share truth in love. In the future I may share more publicly the events of Jane’s death. In the meantime, I hope to bring light to some of the things I have noticed about questions over the last 13 months. I hope to offer encouragement and shed light on well meaning statements that are painful.
I now identify with many people who have experienced loss, but I won’t pretend that I can relate to everyone’s story. That would be incredibly prideful and damaging. My pain is my own and my experience belongs to me alone. If you are grieving, I am so sorry. I can’t possibly understand exactly what you are going through and I never intend to be hurtful with my words. If you know someone that is grieving, please don’t assume that my words speak to their specific situation. As always, I would encourage you to approach personal grief and the grief of others with prayer, God’s Word and the prompting of the Holy Spirit.