While We're Waiting - Hope After Child Loss

While We're Waiting - Hope After Child Loss

This is a podcast FOR bereaved parents BY bereaved parents. Join your host, Jill Sullivan, as she talks with parents who have lost children of all ages to all types of circumstances. This is a podcast of stories ... stories of devastating loss and grief and heartbreak and struggle ... and stories of hope and healing and faith, and yes, even joy. Underlying every conversation will be the hope we have in Jesus Christ, which makes it possible to not just survive the loss of a child, but to live well while we're waiting to see them again in Heaven one day. Visit our website at www.WhileWereWaiting.org for more information about our nonprofit ministry to bereaved parents.

Episodes

August 3, 2022 44 min

Jason and Amy Carter join me today to share the story of their spunky ballerina Katie Beth and the book they have written about their experience as grieving parents, "Oaks and Ruins - Letting God Redeem Your Loss".  The book is based on Isaiah 61:3-4 and includes eight chapters brimming with wisdom and encouragement for hurting moms and dads.  Today we discuss the first four chapters:  Loss, Listen, Look, and Learn. 

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My husband Brad joins me on the podcast today to discuss what his role with the While We're Waiting ministry will look like now that he has retired after 31 years in public education.  We discuss the expansion of the While We're Waiting ministry across the nation and our gratitude that God continues to open up opportunities for us to meet more and more bereaved parents and hear the stories of their beautiful children.   We ...

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In this second half of my conversation with Charlotte Miller, we expand our chat to include a wide range of issues faced by bereaved parents, such as dealing with the dreaded “things people say”, saying "Yes" to the Lord (when we really want to say "No"), and how we can view all of our pain through the rosy-colored glasses of the cross.   You’ll also learn about the Helping Hurting Hearts Ministry and find out how i...

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My conversation over the next two episodes is with Charlotte Miller, the founder of the Helping Hurting Hearts ministry, which provides support and encouragement to hundreds of bereaved parents around the nation.  I believe you'll be encouraged today as she shares the story of her 17-year-old son Calvin who went to Heaven in May of 2001, and discusses issues of bitterness, secondary losses, embracing grief, and the freedom to &...

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In this second half of our conversation, Melissa shares three specific pieces of advice for newly grieving parents and talks about how we can stop striving and be still before the Lord.  We also discuss some ideas for dealing with holidays and birthdays and talk about how Melissa's relationship with God has changed since the homegoing of her daughter Kristen due to laced heroin in the fall of 2019.  I believe our conversation w...
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Melissa Crone joins me today to share the story of her beautiful daughter Kristen, who was gentle and kind with an innate gift for music and an affinity for sharks … and someone who lived her life fearlessly.  In the fall of 2019, laced heroin took Kristen to Heaven.  I hope you’ll listen in to the first half of this two-part episode as we discuss specific issues faced by parents who lose children to drug-related causes, dealing wi...

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In this second half of our two-part  conversation, David and Tracie Freeman discuss specific issues faced by a parent whose child died due to fentanyl poisoning, including forgiveness for the decisions that child made. They also share some very practical advice for parents who are in the early months and years of grief, discuss how the loss of their son Nic has impacted their faith, and talk about the importance of listening to God...

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David and Tracie Freeman join me today on what would have been their son Nic’s 34th birthday … a perfect time to share his story!  In the first half of this two-part episode, they talk about Nic’s growing up years, the smart and talented young man he was, and some of the struggles he encountered, eventually culminating in his death due to fentanyl poisoning the day after Christmas in 2020.  Their story is one of "grabbing for h...

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June 8, 2022 7 min

The Bible tells us in the 14th chapter of John that in our Father's house are many rooms and Jesus is preparing a place for us there.  Today I share the experience of preparing the rooms at the While We're Waiting Refuge in eager anticipation of the grieving parents who would one day come and stay in them ... and compare that with how Jesus may be preparing our rooms in Heaven.  It's fun to think about, and hopefully it...

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As bereaved parents, I believe each of us has a very distinct dividing line in our lives, separating everything into the "before" and the "after".  In this second half of my conversation with Wende Gaikema, we discuss the "before" Wende and the "after" Wende over the last four years since the suicide of her son Matt.  Our conversation also includes advice for surviving the very early days of grief an...

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Today Wende shares the story of her son, Matt,  who died by suicide at the age of 22.   Matt was an honor student at Texas A&M University ... a remarkable young with a keen mind, a quick wit, and a love for others and his dog Apple.   As if often the case, there was no indication that Matt was planning to take his own life, and Wende describes suicide like a bomb going off in her family, leaving emotional shrapnel everywhere.  ...

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In this second half of a two-part series, Connie describes her intense struggle with self-pity after the loss of her 11-year-old son Paul Michael and shares the moment when things began to turn around for her in her grief journey.  She and Mike also give some very practical tips about survival after child loss, particularly in the early months and years, and Mike shares what he's learned about the sovereignty and character of G...

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"Pure Joy" ... that's how Connie Washburn describes her blond-haired, hazel-eyed 11-year-old son Paul Michael.  In fact, she never had a "bummer day" with him.  In the first half of this two-part episode, Connie shares Paul Michael's story and how the Lord took him home the day before Mother's Day in 2008.  You will also meet Connie's husband, Mike, who shares his own personal journey with grief and ...

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When her daughter Allison was killed in a preventable accident involving a tourist duck boat, Martha Warmuth found herself grappling with how to forgive the unforgiveable.  In this second half of our two-part conversation, we discuss issues of forgiveness for others and for yourself, dealing with the sometimes awkward things people say, finding healing through serving others, and the “mighty movement” with which she’s become involv...

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Allison Warmuth was a beautiful and talented young woman who had a knack for accomplishing anything she set her mind to.  When Allie was tragically killed in an avoidable accident in April of 2016, her mother Martha was launched on a journey she never could have anticipated.  In today's episode (the first in a series of two), Martha joins me for a wide-ranging discussion which includes Allison's story and a number of very p...

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"How can I help my surviving children?" is one of the most common questions that comes up at our While We're Waiting Weekends for bereaved parents.   Today I host a return guest, my daughter Bethany, and we expand on our last discussion by addressing a series of questions submitted by bereaved parents.   Our conversation is very open and honest regarding these difficult issues.   I believe this is an episode that both g...

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"Just today" ... Two simple words that can have a profound impact in the life of a bereaved parent.  As I continue my conversation today with Judy Hostetler, mom of Joshua and Kayli, she shares how she has adopted that phrase as a way of life, reminding us that we don't have to carry a whole lifetime's worth of grief at once ... but "just today."  I hope you'll listen in for a wide-ranging and encouragin...

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As a young wife expecting her first baby, Judy had a certain picture of how the path of her life would go.  When her son Joshua went to Heaven just minutes after he was born, she realized that God was calling her and her husband Michael to walk through a new doorway.  I know you will be blessed by listening in on the first half of our conversation today, as we hear the story of Joshua and the impact that his life has made in the wo...

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Today's conversation with Doug and Raquel Lawrence picks up right where we left off last week and covers a wide range of issues bereaved parents encounter in their daily lives ... sadness over the things our kids missed out on, the marriage relationship after child loss, going back to church, forgiving God, and parenting surviving siblings.  We even discuss some of the darker thoughts that bereaved parents sometimes have.  You ...

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Doug and Raquel Lawrence affectionately describe their daughter Parker as "a lot of sass with a little bit of class".  In fact, her nickname was "Sassy", given to her by her big brother before she was even born.  Parker was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when she was in fifth grade, but never let it slow her down, playing a variety of sports and maintaining a very active social life.  Two days after her 21st birth...

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