How To See Grief As A Gift.

Season 7, Episode 61- The Honestly Adoption Podcast

Loss.  Pain.  Sorrow.  Grief.    These are no strangers to those of us on this adoption and foster care journey.  How do we deal with these losses and all of this pain?  What do we do when our heartache is more than we can bear?  Is it actually possible we could learn to see grief as a gift?

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Join us on this episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, as Mike and Kristin interview our good friend, and fellow blogger, Natalie Brenner, and how she learned to see grief as a gift.

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Notes and Quotes:

“[The Undeserved Life is] one of the best books I’ve ever read on grief.”  – Mike Berry

In regards to church trauma and loss:

“The story is so woven with so many different losses and the church trauma and firing was the hardest part to write because I wanted to do so with integrity.”

“We don’t talk about it (church trauma), and we have this false notion that it is our job to protect the church…we aren’t doing any favors from hushing trauma and abuse.”

In regards to infertility and miscarriage:

“People don’t know how to respond to these things.”

“When we were walking through that, we took it moment by moment.”

“Grief is so weird because it’s clunky and complex and our miscarriage is what taught me that I can give a voice to my loss even if it is insignificant to other people or to the world.”

“We have permission to grieve the loss of fertility and the brokenness of our bodies.”

In regards to adoption,”virtual twinning,” and having two babies:

“I was very exhausted…I kept thinking lets just try to figure this out.”

“That postpartum depression… I would never have said I was depressed because I was so grateful, but looking back it was hard… but we just made it through each day.”

Three Gifts of Grief:

  • Healing:  We cannot fully heal until we properly tend the wound, so we need to give the loss a voice and a space, and let it run its course.

“Grief is the avenue to healing.”

  • Grace:  Sorrow moves into us when we have tragic losses.  It is a gift of grace to allow ourselves the permission to grieve.  You are never just “over” a loss.

“We can be broken and acknowledge that and it is o.k.”

  • Love:  I’ve learned to love other people better

     “Grief taught me how to love better because it taught me how I felt incredibly unloved.”

What if you feel crushed by grief?

“You have so much permission to grieve.  To feel fully… There is no “right” way.

“It’s ok to be angry.  Give yourself grace to be in that space.”

We are parenting children with immense disorders, tragedy, trauma.  When we grieve over the brokenness, it is good to grieve these things…there is no shame in feeling angry or depressed.  These are natural responses to tragedies.

“The grief and joy are so intertwined.”

Resources and Links:

Natalie is an author, blogger, adoptive and biological mom, and has a new book out which is a number one bestseller on Amazon right now! Pick up your copy of The Undeserved Life as soon as you can!  You can check out Natalie’s blog and photography, as well as her two e-books, Wholeness Despite the Brokenness, and Financing Adoption with Fundraising at nataliebrennerwrites.com or on her instagram account or Facebook page.

To hear past episodes, head over to The Honestly Adoption Podcast and be sure to subscribe to the show so you don’t miss out on any of the great guests we have scheduled and to pick up your free gifts!

Question: Are you grieving today? We are here to walk this journey of grief with you. Leave a comment below to let us know how you are grieving and finding joy today. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Stacy K

    I am new to listening to this podcast and am really loving it. It’s like a breath of fresh air for me as we are treading through the deep end of adoption waters. I really enjoyed this particular episode and look forward to reading Natalie’s book. I think parental grief in adoption isn’t talked about much and it’s kinda of shameful to try to explain to non adoptive parent-friends. I’ve only recently been aware of how my own grief has played a part in my struggle to parent well. Thank you for bringing such relevant issues to discussion.

    • You bet! Thank you for the encouragement. And know you are not alone on this journey. So many with you.