Over the past week I have received so many personal emails, facebook messages, texts and comments to our website regarding last Saturday’s post titled “For The Perfect Parent.”
Some of these letters were from parents so vulnerable in sharing their worst tragedies and deepest sorrows that it took my breath away. One woman’s son was stabbed to death 32 times at an ATM. Another woman’s son lost his battle against drug addiction– and the heartbreak of “if only” killed her husband a year later. Another woman’s husband met his final fate because some stranger ran a stop sign. A son that had an unknown heart condition. His mother sent him skiing (as a gift) and the altitude killed him. Another mother’s son died because alcohol had gotten a hold on him and wouldn’t let go. Twenty-five years old, bright, talented, loved…and still…he’s gone. A 19 year old dead because of a shallow water diving accident. I won’t even get into the military moms I know who have lost a child to PTSD suicide or even parents struggling after a teenage suicide.
The heartbreak. The vulnerability. So many parents still plagued with “what if” and “if only I had known…” Many still struggling years later to come to terms with the unimaginable. Missing loved ones and blaming themselves, all while suffering under the scrutiny and judgement of others who think they could have surely done better or had a different outcome.
How cruel. How horrific.
I’ve walked through grief with some of my dearest friends. Their only child (and that child’s maternal grandmother, as well as several other family members) murdered during Thanksgiving dinner in their own home by an uninvited, unwanted family member. Public support was overwhelming and yet they still faced unimaginable criticism from strangers and social media trolls. I never thought it was possible to blame a parent for their own child’s murder– but still some people managed to justify such disgusting behavior.
All I can say to every hurting parent touched by tragedy or even grief in a struggle you are currently facing with a child is this:
TheRebacks.com is a place where you can come to find hope and help. I have not suffered the loss of a child, but I have intentionally walked through loss and grief on more than one occasion with families suffering desperately. I will tell you that the Reback household is not immune to the many of the same struggles and challenges that any family faces…so if you’re walking through it with your kids– odds are we are too. And I’m not here to judge you or to say “how could you have let this happen?” I am here to tell you that there is hope in Jesus, there is a future and a plan in even the darkest of circumstances, and I absolutely know what it is like to look at my husband in absolute heartbreak and say, “What do we do? Why and how did this happen??” I have walked in some incredibly lonely shoes where it seemed as though we had no where to go for help…
And that is WHY we have this website. So that no parent ever feels alone, isolated, scrutinized…only loved, encouraged and strengthened by a very real God who is a very real help in the midst of even the most difficult of circumstances.