Memorial Day 2020

As we drove home today following a weekend visit with our daughter and son-in-law, we passed a church with a Memorial Day marquee that said:

Instead of mourning their death, thank God they lived.

I have to admit that I struggle with not letting sayings like this really irritate me. To me – and I’m speaking strictly in my own humble opinion – people who spout sayings like this (or in this case put on a church marquee) have no idea what it’s like to deeply mourn the loss of a dearly loved person, especially the death of a child. A saying like this could easily be interpreted as condemnation for someone who is mourning. At best, those saying things like this are horribly misinformed. At worst, it’s a slap in the face for those grieving the loss of a loved one.

Mourning the death of a loved one and being thankful that they lived is not an either/or situation. I am so thankful that Jason was born. I am so incredibly thankful he was born into our family. Being thankful for his life doesn’t mean that I don’t mourn his death or that I don’t miss him every day of my life. It’s an awfully huge assumption that both grief and thankfulness cannot co-exist.

Those who mourn should not to be judged or condemned for not being thankful. The Bible calls those who mourn blessed. Consider the words of Jesus said in the Beatitudes:

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:3-10

Hugs to all of you missing dearly loved ones today.


© 2020 Rebecca R. Carney



This entry was posted in Death of a child, Grief, Memorial Day and tagged , , , by Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective

My name is Becky Carney. My husband, Joe, and I have been married for 44 years. We have two living children, Eric (41) and Jenna (36). We lost a baby in utero at 19 weeks in 1987. In 2002, our middle son, Jason (19), and his best friend, Alina (20), were broadsided by a drunk driver who was going at least twice the speed limit. They both died instantly. This blog is written from my perspective as a bereaved parent. I don't claim to know what it's like to walk in anyone else's shoes. Each situation is different; each person is different. Everyone handles grief differently. But if I can create any degree of understanding of what it's like to be a parent who has lost a child, then I have succeeded in my reason for writing this blog.

2 thoughts on “Memorial Day 2020

  1. True – True – True – For me, the only time such types of ‘sayings/missives/communications’ were delivered to me, that hurt me, was when they were accompanied by the general back ground of ‘hurry up and get well, get back to being the you we loved/knew before’ and yet, once one suffers a loss/trauma – whether of a child or another type of big Life event, they are forever changed and simply cannot go back to being who they were before – and often, have no wish to – so I agree, I have issues with that too – the only ‘saving grace’ I’ve ever been ‘gifted’ with on this topic, was the ‘in a moment/flash of insight’ that hit me in the first few days after my son’s death – when such well meaning words arrived in my face, once more, from a ‘I’m here for you” personage – – (sigh….) – I realized in one nano second that their fears of losing their child or their fears they would never survive ‘such a hit/trauma’ were driving them to encourage me to hurry up and ‘get better’ – not for me – but so they could have comfort in their world once more – that if their worst nightmare ever happened, they, too, would quickly bounce back – they needed that – in some cases – and if I wasn’t in the mood to provide it – their fears got projected onto me – took me awhile to see that perspective and it’s not the ‘only one’ but at least, once I saw that perspective, it made it easier for me to brush off me/not internalize ‘their’ words/marquee/memes posted – :). ❤ to you – and do what you want – celebrate or mourn – just do what you need to, how you need to, as you walk this path – which I'm sure you'll do, anyhoo, without me 'giving you permission' -LOL – but still wanted to say – you have my full support in navigating it as you wish – 🙂

    • Yes, true. It was not necessarily directed at anyone specifically, but for those struggling with deep grief and “how to” grieve, I find these types of things unnecessary and potentially hurtful (although inadvertently, I’m sure). At the least, it would make one struggling to understand deep grief question if they are “doing it right.” I’m sure almost all comments to “help” are just that – meant to help – although, as you said, also meant to encourage us to move on and get back to who we were, the person THEY knew and were comfortable with.

      I had just noticed it in passing. I realize they were encouraging honoring those military heroes who had served our country, but it made me shake my head. I sometimes see both sides of the coin too easily.

      Hugs to you, TamrahJo.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s