I spent last Friday with the HelpForMyLife video crew capturing the story of one of our coworkers, Kevin Burgess and his wife Dawn. Kevin works the audio magic to “sweeten” the audio of many of the RBC radio productions. (I have no idea what “sweetening” entails but I don’t think is has anything to do with the little sprinkles we like to shower over Christmas cookies.)
For those of you who have followed the HelpForMyLife.org blogs over the past year, you may remember Kevin and Dawn. I featured them in my December 22, 2010 blog, A child is born . . . and one is taken. What a privilege to be with this amazing couple!
Their story is one of sorrow and grief, courage and compassion, endurance and hope. Having lost their precious son, Braeden, to cancer just a little over two and a half years ago, just shy of his 4th birthday, they allowed us to take the journey of grief with them as they shared their story.
And it’s a story worth telling.
Our hope in this new year is to launch a new portion of our website that features the stories of real people with real struggles that requires real faith. We’re thinking of calling it, The Journey Through . . . series. It’s because we’re always in process. We don’t arrive until we’re finally and fully restored in the presence of our good God. So on this earth, we’re all journeying through something.
For Kevin, Dawn and their remaining children, their hurt hasn’t evaporated over the past year. They quickly dismissed the notion that “time heals all wounds.” It doesn’t. Braeden’s absence at their Christmas celebration this year is just as poignant and painful as last year and the year before. But they also reflected something that only they can through this journey through grief . . . hope.
Kevin and Dawn readily admit they’re not immune to grief. Neither are they incapacitated by it. Instead, they are inspired by hope. They are using their experience to touch others who have lost children too. They want to share what they’ve learned on this journey they never chose, but that chose them.
What became very clear to all of us who witnessed their story first hand is this:
They have a story to tell. And we have the privilege of telling it.
Their story is not about a destination, but a journey through grief.
Their story is not over yet. They are still on the journey, they haven’t given up . . . because they have hope.
Why? How? As they would tell you emphatically, “God is in this.”
And their story inspires me to hope too.
So as you celebrate this holiday season with your family and friends, be grateful for those who are present, grieve over those who are not, and always remember the glorious Hope that arrived under the cover of darkness to a couple in a stable 2000 years ago who is our Prince of Peace who heals the brokenhearted and brings comfort to the grieving (Isaiah 61:1-3).
And, look for Dawn and Kevin’s story of hope in the new year at HelpForMyLife.org.