Loss of a child is one of the most difficult tragedies a couple can face.
In whatever way child loss occurs—whether by miscarriage or stillbirth, sudden accident or prolonged illness—the impact is the same: deep, gut-wrenching and unspeakable pain. The grief of child loss reverberates with the sorrow of dashed hopes and shattered dreams, an expected future which the parents will no longer see. When facing a trial as devastating as losing your child, it may seem as though everything has been lost. However, it is important to remember that although your dreams as a parent have been broken, your marriage does not have to be. It is true that extreme trials, such as losing a child, can be polarizing in a marriage, if a couple allows their struggles to drive each other apart. However, on the other hand, trials in a marriage can be unifying and strengthening, if a couple uses their struggles to better understand and support one another.
Proverbs 14:10 No one has knowledge of a
man's grief but himself; and a strange person (stranger) has no part in
his joy. (BBE) The heart knows its own bitterness (or sadness), and a
stranger does not share its joy. (NKJV)
Who could be further from a stranger than your husband or wife, right?
A stranger can not truly understand your joy. Only someone close to you can understand what a special achievement means to you, why an inside joke makes you laugh, what kind of gift makes you smile. In joyous times, a husband and wife are not strangers to each other. They do share in each others’ joy. And yet, when it comes to loss, we can be baffled by each other’s grief. Wrapped in grief, you can seem like strangers to each other. Grief is unique to each person. You will each have your own way of dealing with loss. If you are more expressive, don’t assume because your spouse is not outwardly expressive that s/he is not grieving. If your spouse tends to withdraw, don’t assume that s/he is angry at you. What may seem strange to you may be normal for your spouse and the manner in which s/he needs to grieve.
As Proverbs 14:10 encapsulates, no one has
knowledge of anothers grief, even one as close as a spouse, so it is
important not to make assumptions about your spouse’s grief based on
outward reactions. Instead of making assumptions, don’t allow your grief
to make you strangers to one another. Keep the lines of communication
open. Though it may be difficult to know the depths of each other’s
grief, you can at least understand more about each other different ways
of dealing with sorrow.
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38 KJV and Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4 KJV
In the midst of grief, it can be hard to feel loved, much less blessed.
But Romans 8:38 tells us that nothing, not even death, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. And Matthew 5:4 tells us even those who are mourning can be blessed of God, because He will bless them with comfort that only He can give. Despite your feelings, cling to these promises. Do not allow your grief to isolate you from feeling the love and comfort of God. His love can reach past heights, depths, things present and things to come. God can use your spouse to manifest His love, grace, and comfort towards you—through kind words, prayers or just being near when you need a shoulder to cry on.
Even so, though God can use those around you to minister to you, there will be wounds of sorrow that only God alone can touch. Allow yourself and your spouse the space and quiet time for God to comfort you each as only He can. Cling to the love of God. Allow His comfort to sustain and restore each of you during your grief.
Leave Loss of a Child for other Marital Conflicts and issues we can help you with.