There are no Do-Overs

Often, when tragedy strikes, one can rebuild. There may be losses that cannot be replaced, but we still move on and make new beginnings. It’s very difficult, but nevertheless we do it. Perhaps, that is why many think that after child loss, the Bereaved Parent shall do likewise.

Not so.

When tragedy strikes, there is often the initial shock and disbelief. We shed many tears and often we suffer from PTSD to one degree or another. We vacillate between depression and anxiety as we attempt to come to grips with our losses, and expense the energy needed to put things back together the best we can… to salvage what is left of our lives. We understand that our loss entails ‘things’, and perhaps some people we greatly loved. Yet, we grieve for a time and then move on. It is what is expected so we find a way to ‘adjust’. Once again, those who have not lost a child believe the Bereaved Parent shall do likewise.

Again, not so.

When a child dies, there is no avenue to rebuild; there are no ‘things’ that can be replaced; there are no second chances; there are no ‘Do-Overs’.

We have had to bury our child along with absolutely everything that our child’s life enveloped. All our hopes and dreams we have had to bury, as well. It never crossed our mind that our child would not grow up and go to college, perhaps marry and have children of their own one day. If our child was with us long enough to have those opportunities, they then leave behind their own family who mourns and whose future is forever altered. What could have been, would have been, shall never be. There is no getting back any of it; it is final. Death of a child is final.

If there are surviving children, their lives are also forever altered. They, too, must come to grips with the fact that all here is temporary; that there are no sure things in this life; that everything can change in the blink of an eye. As parents who are struggling to simply get out of bed on any given morning, we now have to find the strength to help them go forward, as well. Their perspective, our perspective, has been dramatically overhauled. Security has been rocked to its very core. The pain is visceral.

We can’t go back.

We can’t rebuild a life that no longer exists in this world.

We can’t formulate new hopes in a void.

We can’t fill that void.

We can’t replace our child.

We can’t give our life in place of our child’s.

We can’t wake up from this nightmare.

Our life is now an endless cycle of baby steps, one day at a time. We often function… barely. Not a day goes by when we don’t think about our child, that we don’t miss our child, that we don’t long for our child. We learn to often simply place ourselves on auto-pilot. There is a part of our heart that cannot be repaired. We gloss it over to the best of our ability so others won’t see the damage done.

Yet, it remains.

Never again will anything be as it was.

No matter how many smiley-faces we tape over it, the hole still exists beneath.

The same death that robbed us of our child, we now silently desire for ourselves. We want the pain to stop; we want the heartache to cease.

Yet, we must wait… however long it takes.

There is no going back, only moving forward. We patiently endure as we wait for the day on which we too shall be called Home; the day we shall be reunited with our Beloved child to never be parted again. It is that Hope of that Joy that gets us through one more day. We don’t ever move on, only forward, taking the memories of our child with us; holding our child securely in our heart where no one else can enter except our God. It has become our Holy of Holies, a place where only we and our God can abide. Time does not exist in that place; time for us stopped the moment we were told: “Your child is dead”.

Yes, there are no Do-Overs.

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(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
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I am the author of this piece and using it without my written permission is against copyright law. Registration# TX 8-383-134


The Haunting

The pain that pulses through my veins


Nothing ever capable of


The hallways of shadows within


The haunting void of emptiness


The sanity of normalcy


The haunting of all memories


Everything that once blossomed true


The beauty I behold in you


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(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
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Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

I am the author of this piece and using it without my written permission is against copyright law. Registration# TX 8-383-134



The Video

The Mighty had asked for my authorization to make this video of one of my articles which I was pleased to grant. Much Much gratitude for all of their hard work in this endeavor. TY!! all for honoring my son and helping me keep his memory alive. (((HUGS)))

Grief Bill of Rights



(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
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Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’:

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

I am the author of this piece and using it without my written permission is against copyright law. Registration# TX 8-383-134

Copyright Notice

I have resisted doing this mainly because I took ‘respect’ for granted. I ‘assumed’ that grievers and Christians would automatically respect the heartbreaking work of my endeavors that I freely share. I was mistaken.

Sadly, after the theft of one of my articles over the past couple of weeks which has had its contents removed from the original published article, and has now even had the Author’s name (mine) deleted, I was advised by one of my publishers to post the following (I have also included my legal registration number):

“I am the author of this piece and using it without my written permission is against copyright law. Registration# TX 8-383-134”.

This applies to each and every article I have written, my published Book: ‘Gifts from the Ashes’, and any articles I shall write in the future.

The work I do, I do in honor of my deceased son and his memory. It is painstaking work in which I dig deep into the corners of my heartache to express what is buried deep within in the Hope that by doing so, it may somehow help another on this excruciating journey of grief. In all things, I give all the Glory to God and my Lord Jesus the Christ. When someone robs me of my work, they are spitting on my son’s grave. It is as if I had a beautiful painting or drawing of my beloved Son and someone came along with a black magic marker and drew a big ‘X’ across it…across a treasure of mine beyond value. The thievery causes me great anger; the disrespect causes me deep sorrow.

So, sadly out of necessity, I now must publish this written notice. My gratitude to all who have not violated my boundaries and have lovingly requested my authorization to share. I have no objections to my material being shared when done so in context and in its entirety of the original published work. Those that have violated my legal rights by posting incomplete, altered, or in any way or form not in the original content and context, I request that it be immediately removed so as not to be in violation of the law. Thank you.

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(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
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Holidays: Death by Suicide


The Holidays are particularly high for death by suicide. Our loss of our child is often compounded with the loss of family traditions and so many fond memories.

Most that die by suicide are not doing so to hurt anyone left behind. They have been repeatedly lied to by the evil one to the point that they have become convinced either that there is no other option left to stop the pain in their life…or they truly have been deceived into believing that everyone else in their life would be better off if they simply ceased to exist.

We need to shine more light on this rather than treating it as a ‘taboo’. If you know someone who may be having this battle, please reach out to them. Hug them. Listen to them. Rather than mail a card or send it electronically, deliver it in person. Let them know their life matters at least to one other human being.

If you are struggling with an internal spiritual battle, here are some things you can do:

Call someone…friend, neighbor, family, church, counselor, etc.
Get out of the house
Put up some sort of decoration, even if it is only 1 ornament
Plan a good meal for yourself
Light a candle
Hug your pet if you have one
Know: ‘This too shall pass’
Know that your child is looking on
Know that God has an angel with each and every one of you

Psalms 91:11 – For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.


(Excerpt from my Book: ‘Gifts from the Ashes)

(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
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Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’:

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

Is There a Reason to Hope?

Earlier today, I was once again overwhelmed with that intense longing to be reunited with my son. It is a feeling that is physically felt in my heart. As I pondered this, I recalled reading something back in the late 70’s. I couldn’t recall the precise phrasing nor the Author, but I did recall the ‘message’ of the statement. The Writer had expressed that when we have an intense desire in our heart for something to take place, that often times it has been placed there by God so that one day it may be fulfilled. Upon this remembrance, this Scripture came to mind: “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” PS. 37:4. 

Obviously, this does not mean that everything we ever want will happen, etc. This isn’t some magical impartation. God is a very loving Father and as every good Parent, and He’s without doubt the best, He does not give us everything we want. If my child wants sweet candy, but I am able to see the bigger picture and know it will eventually rot his teeth, I may not grant my child’s wishes.  My child may desire a motorcycle for Christmas and place it on his Christmas wish list, but because of the dangers I foresee in granting what he hopes for, I may decline to give him what he perceives as his heart’s desire. God may also withhold certain things to protect us.

Over four decades ago, I heard a teaching titled: ‘Death of a Vision’. The instructor taught that there are times in which God will require that we return unto Him the very desire He has placed within. Corrie Ten Boom, the well-known Holocaust survivor who lost her loved ones in the tormenting camp of horror, often spoke these words of wisdom: “Hold loosely to the things of this life, so that if God requires them of you, it will be easy to let them go.” The indescribable pain of child loss will bring us to our knees. We then choose to fight against the goads, or surrender all as we cry out: ‘Not my will, but Thine be done.’

There is no doubt that seeing my son again is my heart’s desire. That intense longing within my broken heart often times consumes me. It has an affect on choices I make, as well. It motivates me to pray, read the Bible, and remain in communion with my Lord. It has even motivated me, at times, to stay alive and ‘keep on keeping on’. At the same time, I cannot deny the painfulness of this desire. When a desire is so powerful that it can result in a physical manifestation, that is a very intense desire indeed. It is a Hope that overpowers all others.

Once again, I find myself agreeing with good old Al:

Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.

— Albert Einstein
In reading my emails this evening, it just so happened that this quote was in one of them: “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists.”C. S. Lewis
I then searched to read that quote in context:

“The Christian says, ‘Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.”

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

That longing, that Hope, of seeing my child again exists because Jesus the Christ rose from the dead. I have spent eighteen plus years focused on the excruciating pain of that undeniable longing for reunification, rather than its joyful fulfillment. Most Mothers can clearly lay claim to the fact that labor pain is horrendous. It is one of the most painful physical experiences on the planet. Yet, Mothers endure it everyday for the Hope of the fulfillment of their heart’s desire. Sadly, not all are fulfilled as I well know in having loss four in pregnancy. However, four also did survive.
 Last Christmas together in FL.
I’m beginning to believe that as painful as this desire and longing is, to see all of my children again, I need to change my focus. Though I cannot deny the intense grief, I can focus on the eventual outcome. I can place my Hope in my Lord and trust Him to give me the desires of my heart. I can accept the temporary harrowing longing, knowing what it will eventually produce. I can look forward to the Hope of its fulfillment. I do not expect this to be an easy undertaking as nothing on this journey has been, and I am fairly confident I will have setbacks. But I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor. Although, I could never consider this horrendous grief as ‘light’ (2 Cor. 4:17 “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison”), I just may be able to lay hold of God’s Promise that in the big picture of things, and in comparison to the Joy that lays ahead, it is. For God’s Promise to hold true, and I trust it shall, I am in for one Glorious time when this labor of my soul has resulted in Eternal Life. When the labor pains have completed their purpose, they will quickly be forgotten. When I fully embrace the Love and Glory in the presence of my Lord, and am with my son and the four I have yet to meet, if any tears remain they shall be great tears of Joy.
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(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
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Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’:

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