Sunshine on Monday.
Snow on Tuesday.
Snow, sleet, and freezing rain on Wednesday.
Snow again on Thursday.
Earthquake on Friday.
At 10:24 p.m. Friday, my husband and I were in our kitchen when a strange sound and vibration caught our attention. He figured it out first and went to bring our dog in from the back yard. When we went into our garage, we saw the antenna on our car vibrating eerily. By then, ten seconds later, the sensations had passed.
Wanting to verify our suspicions, I checked out my Facebook account. Within seconds of the shaking, my news feed was filled with local friends' status updates.
Did you feel that?
Was that an earthquake?
Did anyone else just feel their house shake?
Our local community was alive with people seeking out others who had the same experience, possibly motivated by the same thing as me - validation that our experience was real, making sure everything was okay, wanting to understand what was going on. And for those who had felt the shaking, there was a sense of shared community. I think even those who didn't feel the earthquake sensed that, as they chimed in with comments like, I feel left out! I didn't feel it!
As it turned out, there was a smallish earthquake (4.1) centered about an hour to our west, but the tremors were felt throughout our state and others nearby. No damage done, no lasting effect except for the jokes about being an earthquake survivor now. But it was a serious reminder of the power of a moment to change everything, and we were all thankful that is wasn't more serious.
The loss of a baby is a lot like an earthquake. It is an event that shakes your world, with tremors that extend further than you would think and aftershocks that come when you least expect them. Unlike our little tremor in the South, though, the loss of a baby has the power to shake your very foundations. And when it does, like my friends on Facebook, it helps to reach out to others, to ask, Does anyone else feel this way?
There are many places online where you can find this kind of support. Facebook groups, forums, blogs, websites. But nothing is quite like connecting with someone in real life who has been through a similar experience as you and can tell you, I've felt the same things. You're not going crazy. You will survive, honest.
That is why providing information about local support groups has been at the heart of our Naomi's Circle ministry. If you are a bereaved parent, we want to help you get connected with others locally - not just online - who can walk alongside you on this journey, who can pray with you, who can encourage you. If you are recovering from the loss of a baby and live in the Midlands area of South Carolina, please check outour support group directory and find a group near you. If you live in another part of the country and can tell us about a group in your area, please do. We want to have as much information on our website as possible.
When your world is shaken, it helps to find a community that understands you and can help shore up your broken foundations again. You are not alone. I promise.
How has community helped you through a time of loss or other trial??
I'm linking up today with: