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Finding Grace After a Child’s Death

Dealing with unimaginable pain, a mother reaches out for comfort and meaning after her son’s death.

Trudy Harris

Dear Trudy,

We lost our beloved Mitchell last Christmas. He took his own life after a struggle with drugs. He was just 21 years old.

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God grants us all just enough of His grace to get through each day, but our family will never be the same.

I pray daily for our young people and the other families who wake up every day with the pain of losing a young person this way.


Dear Friend,

What a heartbreaking event for you and your family. There are just no words that can begin to comfort after a loss like this. At 21, Mitchell must have been in so much pain, tormented by his need for drugs and so disappointed in himself.

I think those who end their lives in this way must feel great despair and in that deep, dark place, cannot seem to find the light of hope at all. Mitchell wanted the pain to stop, to get his life in order, to be the young man he really was meant to be and the son you knew he could be.

Jesus speaks often of being with us when we are sorrowing. Trust that He is there, with you at all times. He never wanted this for Mitchell or you. You are blessed to understand His grace the way you do. Grace, as you know, is the unseen gift of His presence, especially when we do not feel Him near. In those instances, I always speak louder to Him, as if He can hear me better when I do. Of course I know that is not so, but the mother in me lets me know He understands.

As a Catholic, I often turn to Mary, Jesus’s mother, and ask her to speak to Him on my and my family’s behalf; because I remember in scripture that He never refused her anything, I know she does.

I promise to keep you in my prayers and that one day, the sun will shine for you again. Trust Him. His plan is perfect.

Blessings to you and yours,
Trudy Harris

Trudy gets so many questions and stories of end-of-life experiences from Guideposts readers, we decided to make her responses a regular feature on her blog. Her response to a letter about a grieving mother had several other parents sharing their stories as well.

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