“When our child is gone, we not only grieve their demise…we grieve over everything they did, everything that reminds us of them, everything that once had meaning and no longer does. The layers are seemingly endless. I don’t think it’s possible to get thru every one anymore in this lifetime. Everything about them is so intricately intertwined.”

I had just posted that comment and then I went to my email and found this from GriefShare: “Identify Your Losses”

“One reason grief disrupts so many aspects of your life is because your loss is not one isolated loss. You will miss so many qualities and facets of the person you lost that each will become an opportunity to experience grief.

The range of things you need to grieve for may surprise you. Identify your losses and be prepared to grieve for each one.

Use the list below as a starting point.”

I do understand their point. There are numerous facets in our grieving process that we are forced to address. A ‘Checklist’ may assist some in sorting through some of those layers. I make checklists all of the time. I will do so for chores I need to attend to, calls I need to make, items I need to purchase from the store. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could simply make a checklist of everything we need to grieve about our child and then have the satisfaction we feel once everything has been checked off?


I’ve been working on my Checklist for 18+ years, and I’m still not finished. Even if I were to complete it at one point, just like mowing the lawn, it will be back on another list next week. Every year there is a Déjà vu moment when another Holiday rolls around, another birthday, another anniversary, etc., etc. A Checklist may assist in un-knotting that ball of yarn, but I will never be done with the list of Grief. Tomorrow, there will be more dishes to wash; in a few days, there will be more clothes to wash. And, sadly yes, there will be another layer of grief I will need to grieve.

I wish Grief was as simple as a Checklist.

But, it’s not.

Grief is complicated. A movie, a song, even the sight of another that resembles our child can release a torment of seemingly endless tears. God’s Word says:

Somewhere in Heaven there must be an immense storehouse filled with all of those bottles; there is a recorder’s office filled with endless volumes.

I will never be done with my Checklist of Grief…not in this world. I will always be missing my son. Every memory of him that surfaces which brings a smile, is soon followed by a tear. Every time I drive by a place that he once visited, just for a moment I will look to see if he’s there. Every white car that passes by that resembles his will have me peering at who is behind the wheel.

It simply does not end.

I’ve adjusted to my ‘new normal’. I’ve accepted that this is my life. I’ve adapted to an endless Checklist. I’ve ‘normalized’ touching my son’s face through a piece of glass in a picture frame. Then I remind myself, this is all temporary. There will come a day when I will rip up that checklist into little shreds and watch every piece blow away never to be seen again.

For you, O LORD, have delivered
my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LORD
in the land of the living.

Psalm 116:8-9

Image result for small gaelic cross photo

(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon PressAmazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers:,jude-gibbs-9781498496728  Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’:

Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))


2 thoughts on “Checklist

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