Vilomah

I had written an article the other day titled: ‘No Name’. I stand corrected, humbly. Another grieving Momma, Pam Harper, graciously enlightened me. There is a word that has been used for a Bereaved Parent. It is not widely known, but perhaps we can change that.

The word: Vilomah comes from an ancient language called: Sanskrit. It is an official language of India and is currently only used for religious purposes. It is found in the Vedas which are the oldest ‘scriptures’ of Hinduism. This is similar to how our Christian Scriptures were originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.  It is ‘one of the oldest Indo-European languages for which substantial written documentation exists’. Duke Professor Karla Holloway did some research awhile ago and came upon the discovery of this word. Sanskrit seems to date back to 400 B.C.. The Ancient Hebrew is a Semitic language that dates back past 1500 B.C..

Before some turn away, please consider that the word: Widow is also a Sanskrit word which means: ‘Empty’. Vilomah means: ‘Against the Natural Order’. If one does not have a problem with using the word: ‘Widow’, will they with using the word: ‘Vilomah’? Both words share the same etymology. Before discarding it too quickly, try saying it out loud periodically. In other words, try it on for size. ‘Taste it’ before saying you don’t like it. Vilomah: ‘As in, the grey-haired should not bury those with black hair. As in our children should not precede us in death. If they do, we are vilomahed.’ (Holloway).

In 2014, there was a musical Play entitled: Vilomah. It is a story about Susan Owen.

‘Wilfred Owen is widely regarded as the greatest war poet of all time, but not many know that the greatest influence on his writing came from his mother Susan.

Susan nurtured her son’s talent with an unflinching belief in his destiny as a great poet. When he was killed in the last week of World War One, her grief was insurmountable. She spent the rest of her life dedicated to achieving a wider audience for his then little-known work, staunchly protective of his legacy.

But Susan Owen was just one of millions of mothers that had to share the sense of loss of losing cherished offspring during WW1. Wilfred had been awarded The Military Cross, and Susan wore this token of acknowledgement of his bravery around her neck until her dying day. Wilfred Owen himself made the prophecy that “all a poet could do is warn,” and now one hundred years later, Vilomah makes the same warning.

In English, there is a word for the person who has lost a spouse, or a child that has lost a parent, but to find a word for a parent that has suffered the loss of a child; we turn to the ancient Sanskrit for the word “Vilomah”. The literal translation is, “against the natural order.”’ (Dean Johnson, Playwright).

This has a very special personal and profound affect upon me. I recently published my Book: ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ for three main reasons. First, I wanted to give Glory to God and His Redemption throughout my life after numerous encounters with different types of abuse, and because of my son’s demise. The second driving force was getting my son’s poems published. I had waited 18 years to honor him in this manner. Though I was directed by a young man in the music industry years ago to have them copyrighted, I prayed for more. Over the years I had submitted them to a few artists, but they were inclined to only use their original material. I knocked on a number of doors, but none opened. When I felt God leading me to write this book, I knew it was the answer to my prayers in not only honoring Him, but also in honoring my son. The third was simply to share my Testimony before my own demise for:

Revelation 12: (KJV)

11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

I am a Vilomah! The ‘coincidence’ of a play being written with this word as its title, and it being about a woman whose son was killed that happened to be a great Poet, is having an overwhelming emotional impact upon me as I write this. Thank you, Pam Harper, so very very much!!!

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(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon PressAmazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728   Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Also, see a more complete list at: http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

 

Grieving Dads

I won’t pretend to understand what a Bereaved Father must go through when their child has passed on. They grieve for their child, they grieve for their child’s Mom. They are forced by society to support another in the midst of their own tormenting pain and loss. They are expected to carry it all, withholding […]

I won’t pretend to understand what a Bereaved Father must go through when their child has passed on. They grieve for their child, they grieve for their child’s Mom. They are forced by society to support another in the midst of their own tormenting pain and loss. They are expected to carry it all, withholding their tears for another time. They have to continue to go to work everyday as if nothing happened. They may have to clean the house, care for any other children, and answer the calls of others. I can only imagine the load you must carry. Please know, you are still a Dad and you are not forgotten on Father’s Day…or any other day.

https://bereavedparentsblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/81c3b-grievingdad27spic.jpg?w=634&h=634

miss my Dad!

We know you hurt, too.

https://i1.wp.com/www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/photos/2011/02/08/584-lugers-grieving-father.jpg

Image result for grieving dad photo

Image result for grieving dad photo

A heartfelt gratitude to all the Dads who grieve, too.

 

(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon PressAmazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728   Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Also, see a more complete list at: http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

Grieving Dads

I won’t pretend to understand what a Bereaved Father must go through when their child has passed on. They grieve for their child, they grieve for their child’s Mom. They are forced by society to support another in the midst of their own tormenting pain and loss. They are expected to carry it all, withholding their tears for another time. They have to continue to go to work everyday as if nothing happened. They may have to clean the house, care for any other children, and answer the calls of others. I can only imagine the load you must carry. Please know, you are still a Dad and you are not forgotten on Father’s Day…or any other day.

https://bereavedparentsblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/81c3b-grievingdad27spic.jpg?w=634&h=634

miss my Dad!

We know you hurt, too.

https://i1.wp.com/www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/photos/2011/02/08/584-lugers-grieving-father.jpg

Image result for grieving dad photo

Image result for grieving dad photo

A heartfelt gratitude to all the Dads who grieve, too.

 

(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon PressAmazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728   Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Also, see a more complete list at: http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

No Name

“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.” ~President Reagan

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared October as National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. Since that time, specifically October 15th, this day has been set aside to remember those sweet babies who are in Heaven with Jesus instead of in their mommy’s arms. I truly appreciate President Reagan for doing this for I have had four pregnancy losses. I do wish, however, that it was a day/month designated for all Bereaved Parents no matter what age our child may have been when they passed on. This statement of his was actually a rearranged quote from another:

A wife who loses a husband is called a widow.
A husband who loses a wife is called a widower.
A child who loses his parents is called an orphan.
There is no word for a parent who loses a child.
That’s how awful the loss is.
Jay Neugeboren – An Orphan’s Tale – 1976

The most common names for us who have had to bury a child are: Grieving Parent or Bereaved Parent. I am a bereft Mother of five, including my twenty year old son. I think about my children every single day, and it has been 18 years and three months since my twenty year old left this world. I am now ‘placing bets’ on how many more months and years I have before I am reunited with him, and meeting my other four for the first time. I still have days of ‘Grief Fog’; I still have days that are completely debilitating. I am forever abiding in a holding pattern …waiting. I still find myself unconsciously placing my hand on my abdomen when I think of them. There are other days when I can embrace the Love intertwined in the memories that I so cherish; days in which I can see my son’s gleaming smile in my mind’s eye…and I smile, too.

How do we break the silence??

How do the nameless become known??

I am the Unknown, the Undesignated, the Anonymous.

When I type in: ‘Bereaved Parent’ in Webster’s Thesaurus, a box pops up that states:

Words fail us

How apropos and to the point is that?

Perhaps there is no word possible to ‘define’ us. There is certainly no adequate word to describe our excruciating pain; there is no way of measuring the depth of our heartache.

Perhaps, we shall always be the: Nameless, the Unidentified, the

whatchamacallit.

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(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon PressAmazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728   Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Also, see a more complete list at: http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

 

 

 

When We Grieve Alone

“Oh, that my words were recorded,
that they were written on a scroll,
that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever!

I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”
Job 19:23 -27

Most are familiar with the great tragedy that fell upon Job. He lost his oxen, camels, donkeys, and sheep. His servants were killed, and worst of all, his ten children died. He then incurred some sort of physical illness that resulted in his body being covered in boils from head to foot which must have caused him great physical pain. He was left with no friends that comforted him, only with so-called friends that accused him of sinning against God and bringing all of this tragedy upon himself. His wife was no comfort to him either. She told him: “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” In other words, she was telling him to take his own life. Not exactly a woman gifted with encouragement. Yet, Job replied: “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. (Job 2:9-10).

Surely, Job was left alone in his grief.

Many of us sadly are. While many have spouses who grieve alongside them, or other children that can console us…many have no one. Or, like Job, those that do still exist not only bring us no comfort, but rather add to our grief with accusations, blame, etc. Some, who have other children, discover that in their pain and sorrow they harden their hearts with bitterness and cause us more grief. There are some who find more grief among the living than the dead.

Micah 7: (NKJV)

For son dishonors father,
Daughter rises against her mother,
Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
A man’s enemies are the men of his own household.

Matthew 10: (NKJV)

36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’

These Bereaved are often forgotten.

They withdraw. They have no one to hug them; no one to tell them they love them; no one to weep with them.  It is a vacuum of ‘aloneness’ that is debilitating. The weight of it is unbearable and indescribable. Those who have spouses, other children, grandchildren, and/or close friends who stand by them cannot comprehend the depth of the sorrow of those who grieve alone…which only results in more overwhelming ‘aloneness’. Those that seem to ‘recover’ somewhat from the demise of their child often are blessed with others. Or, they have financial means that allow them to travel and ‘get away from it all’ at least for a time. They are at the least physically able to get out, at times, and socialize. Job had nowhere to go. He had nothing left but his grief, false accusers, and a supposed loved one telling him she wanted him dead. His only Hope was death and to be with God. Despair of life is common among those who grieve alone.

Those that have support and can’t comprehend such ‘aloneness’ can often be hurtful in their comments. The ‘supported ones’ may receive comments from another who tells them they understand their grief because their dog died. They know that the ‘dog-griever’ doesn’t have a clue as to how much excruciating pain they are in after burying a child. Well, a ‘supported griever’ lacks a similar understanding of the one who grieves alone.

Now things ended well for Job. It is unlikely that the ‘alone’ griever in today’s society, especially if they are elderly and physically handicapped, will have such an outcome. At best, if not of financial means, they see only a future of some State run care facility that often wreaks of urine, is under funded and under staffed. This life offers no Hope. I once knew a gal who worked at such a place and nearly everyday she would meet a resident who would beg her to kill him/her. Telling such a one who grieves alone that ‘it will get better’ does not help them. They know it will not. What you can do is offer them Real Hope. Remind them that this life is temporary. Encourage them in God’s Promises of all that awaits them once they do cross over. Remind them of their future reunion they will have with their child that has gone ahead. Don’t pretend to understand what you can’t possibly understand unless you have lived through it. He/she who grieves alone can see through it as clearly as you can see through the person who grieves their dog’s demise.

Image result for Bible Job grieving photo

(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon PressAmazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728  Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Shame in Weariness

Moses was a great leader, chosen by God to ‘set His people free’ from years of bondage and slavery. Great miracles and plagues were wrought through this man. Often, when people picture Moses, they think of the ‘Hollywood’ Moses represented by the great Actor, Charleston Heston. We see this very dapper and handsome man of great strength who stood up to Pharaoh, the most powerful man on the planet in those days. He had this robust commanding voice that made the greatest men fear. A natural born leader, right?

Wrong.

Moses was scared to do what God was telling him to do. He felt inadequate and incapable. Moses had a speech impediment and it made him feel that God was making a mistake in choosing him for such an auspicious job. ‘Then Moses said to the LORD, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since Thou hast spoken to Thy servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (Exodus 4:10). Moses was a Jew, raised as an Egyptian, who married a Black-African woman. Yet Hollywood chose Charlton Heston to portray this man on the big screen as some great super-hero. No doubt, Moses was a wonderful and great man…but not because of the attributes portrayed in the movies. Moses was a great man because of his humility and heart’s desire to serve the true God. Truly, man looks upon appearances, while God looks upon the heart. (1 Sam. 16:7). 

In addition, Moses lost his temper. He had just come down from the Mountaintop where he spent time alone with God in an awesome way where God had written His Ten Commandments by means of His own finger (Exodus 31:18; DT. 9:10; Ex 32:16). What does Moses do once he leaves that tremendous encounter with God? He casts those tablets to the ground and smashes them. (EX. 32:19). Back in Exodus 17:12, Moses became weary.  He needed to sit down and get assistance in holding up his arms. Not exactly the vigorous and virile Charlton Heston type.

Even Jesus grew weary and had to sit down and rest. (John 4:4-6) ‘The word wearied in this verse is kopiaó and it means to labor until worn-out, depleted (exhausted). He was not just a little tired. He was kaput. He was exhausted, and He was hungry, and He was thirsty.’ (Proven Path). Jesus even needed assistance in carrying His Cross (MT. 27:32). Truly, the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak in more ways than one. (MT. 26:41).

We who grieve often abide 24/7 in a state of weariness. If we push ourselves beyond our limits to attend to the needs of others, we will eventually run into a brick wall and collapse. It is inevitable. If Moses and Jesus became weary, why do we place greater demands upon ourselves? Who’s expectations are we attempting to adhere to in pushing the envelope? The only One we need to please is our God. Our self-esteem ought not reside in ‘works’. Rather, it comes from God. ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’ (MT. 25:23) is of more value to me than the praises of a multitude. If I know God is pleased with me, quite honestly the opinion of others is meaningless. If I know God is pleased with me, my opinion of myself is meaningless. I’m not here to please ‘man’ nor myself. God’s opinion of me is all that matters.

1 Samuel 15:22

“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

God understands weariness. (IS. 43:24; Malachi 2:17). He beckons us to come unto Him to be refreshed.

Jeremiah 31: (VOICE)

25 I will satisfy those who are weary, and I will refresh every soul in the grips of sorrow.

Rest For The Weary - Special Needs Parenting

(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon PressAmazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728  Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

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

Encouragement in Grief

Every day I spend a few hours searching the web for articles, pictures related to grief, grief quotes, etc., and I seek the Lord as to what I should and should not post. I know I don’t always get it ‘right’, but that’s my fault not His. I also look for a variety because I know that some things will help some, but not everything will help all. In addition, I ask the Lord if He has something He would have me write about and I wait. As I signed on today, the word that ‘popped’ into my mind was: ‘Encouragement’. As I was flipping through things, I kept coming across encouraging articles and Scriptures. To me, when such things occur, I view them as confirmation.

Then, I ran across some posts with articles that I found very validating and encouraging. We have had so many main-line preachers, well-known and popular, that preach messages which do more harm to the grieving than are beneficial. They often grieve my Spirit, as well as, anger me. I had read another article last night in which the ‘minister’ spoke of how we are not to speak of ‘negative’ things, etc., and it infuriated me. I don’t know what reality they are living in, but it’s definitely not mine. There is pain in this world… and lots of it. It’s as if they only want to preach Jesus as the Risen Lord, and forget that He was a ‘Man of Sorrows’. He was despised and rejected and held in low esteem. (Isaiah 53:3-4). Folks considered Him to be ‘smitten’ by God. Then there’s Job…who lost everything…everything…except a nagging wife that told him he should curse God and die. As a topper, his body was covered in boils. What did his ‘friends’ do? They told him he deserved it…essentially. They were sure he had brought all this sorrow upon himself…that he must have done something wrong to bring this great tragedy upon himself.

Shortly after my son passed on, I ran into one of these ‘Job comforters’. It wasn’t just anyone, it was my Pastor’s wife. Now I had been attending that Church for a number of years. My children attended and were very active in the youth group. My son that passed on was one of the leaders. His band played before 10K plus youth at a Jesus Festival that the youth group attended. Two of my sons went on weekend outreaches and conferences. I, personally, attended 2-3 meetings a week and took part in a nine month long special class with my son, and was asked to be a facilitator in the following year’s program. There was much more, but this is not a resume. I simply want to ‘set the scene’ that myself and three of my children were very involved and loved this Church. However, when my son passed on, this Pastor’s wife said to me: ‘The favor of the Lord has been lifted from you’. To add insult to injury, she was also a bereaved Mom.

This was ‘spiritual abuse’!

When someone in ‘authority’ says such a thing under such circumstances, the wounding cuts deeply. I have been wounded on some so-called Christian grief support sites for sharing a dream of my son, though the wounding did not cut as deeply as that initial one. I have always attempted reconciliation. The Pastor’s wife refused to even acknowledge my two letters; the on line moderators blocked me without any discussion. I did my part; it’s now between them and God.

Most of us struggle with our Faith and our beliefs when we’ve had to bury a child. Whether it be anger, trust, prayer, Faith…we have been rocked down to our very foundation. And IT HURTS! We certainly do not need more grief and sorrow and loss poured upon us.

But…here is the encouraging. Anything that was garbage is stripped from us. Any beliefs we held that were inaccurate are cleansed from us. If we don’t walk away from God in our darkest hour, we go deeper…and we keep on going deeper to get answers, to get Strength, to find any glimmer of Hope. Our world has been turned upside down. We have to find out: Is God punishing us? Is God truly a God of Love? Does God really exist? Does God even listen to my prayers?

We plow up and harrow the hardened ground that may have developed over time. It’s hard, very hard, work. It’s an internal toil that causes us to sweat, to ache, to strain. But there is good to come from it if we don’t quit and allow the soil to re-harden. There is good to come from it if we don’t become stiff-necked. The soil becomes softened, pliable, as the weeds are destroyed making room for fruitful growth.

We WILL see our children again!!!

Our children are very much alive! This world is only a place we are passing through. God was hated in this world and assures us that we will be hated, too.

John 15: (KJV)

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

He let us know that we will have trials and tribulations, but to take comfort in Him because He has overcome it…ALL of it! (John 16:33). YES! we miss our children in the here and now…their physical presence. BUT they are not ‘gone’; they are not ‘lost’. They LIVE! They are simply gone from the physical world which is filled with sorrow and woe. They are FREE! They have no more suffering, no more pain!

King David’s servants thought he had gone mad crazy after he lost his first son. David had fasted and prayed for his child when he became ill. He laid on the ground all night pleading with God on his child’s behalf. He refused to eat. This went on for seven days. When his child did die, the servants were afraid to inform David of his son’s death. ‘For they said, “Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!”‘ Finally, they did tell him that his son was dead. Only then did David arise from the ground, washed himself, ate, and went to the House of the Lord to Worship. Surely, the servants now believed that the King had become completely unhinged. They could not comprehend his behaviour. It made no sense whatsoever to them. But David responded to their inquiries as such: “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

King David knew he would see his child again.

YES! GRIEF SUCKS!!

It hurts like hell. Perhaps, there are times when we think we have died and gone to hell. There is nothing worse than burying our child, our flesh and blood; one we loved from the moment of their existence. We must…must…focus on eternity, of being reunited with our child. If we have to hang a big sign in our home to remind us that THIS IS TEMPORARY! then do so. This is not all there is. What awaits us for all eternity is so magnificent, so incredibly wonderful, that we can’t even imagine it. Travel to some of the most beautiful places on this planet and they don’t hold a candle in comparison to what lies ahead for those who belong to Jesus the Christ. Let us not forget the ‘Man of Sorrows’. He ‘gets it’. He suffers along with us. And…He suffered and died to set us free from it.

1 Corinthians 2:9(NKJV)

But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

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(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon PressAmazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728  Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

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