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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 ...
 
Life After Child Loss is a personal and deep podcast with focus on, not only my journey, but the journey of other parents all over the world who have lost children of various causes and reasons. It's the grief many don't understand and other's aren't willing to talk about. An in depth, uncensored talk about parent's trying to live a life after they lose their child. Walk with me as I take you on my journey of twists, turns, highs and lows of fighting from merely existing to living, but also ...
 
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Today I’m pleased to introduce you to my new friends Steve and Heather Colvin, the founders of AJ’s Place, a nonprofit organization that works to bring healing and hope to families who have been struck by the tragedy of infant and womb loss. In the first half of this two-part episode, they share the story of their precious daughter AnnaJoy, who was…
 
Today’s episode is a continuation of my conversation with Ron and Nan Deal. Ron is a Director with FamilyLife, the author of more than a dozen resources, and a licensed marriage and family therapist. Nan is a teacher with over 25 years of experience in public and private schools and she also volunteers in a recovery ministry. Ron and Nan travel and…
 
One of the topics that frequently arises at our While We’re Waiting Weekends is the impact that child loss can have on the marriage relationship … so we’ve brought some folks who are very knowledgeable about that subject onto the podcast today! My friends Ron and Nan Deal have been married since 1986 and have three sons. Ron is a Director with Fami…
 
I’m excited today to introduce you to my friend Celeste Helcel, who has so much wisdom to share after three decades of missing her son Klint. When Klint went to Heaven in 1991, support systems for bereaved parents really did not exist. There were no cell phones, no internet, no Facebook groups for grieving parents, and certainly no podcasts. The ha…
 
Welcome to episode #114, which is a continuation of my conversation with my friend Becky Russell as we discuss a wide range of issues faced by parents who have experienced the loss of a child. If you missed last week’s episode, you’ll want to be sure to back and listen to hear the story of her daughter Jae Lynn, who went to Heaven in 2004 due to a …
 
I’m so excited today to introduce you to my friend Becky Russell, who has been a personal mentor to me ever since my own daughter Hannah went to Heaven thirteen years ago. Becky’s blog "Weepyseeds" was a lifeline to me in the early days of my grief and gave me hope that I could survive my loss. In the first half of this two-part episode, Becky shar…
 
Welcome back for the second half of my conversation with Chrisy Slate, whose son Caleb took his own life with absolutely no warning just as he was beginning his senior year of high school in 2019. Today we expand our discussion to include some very practical issues faced by bereaved parents, particularly those who have lost children to suicide. Chr…
 
Chrisy Slate joins me today to share the story of her remarkable son Caleb, who died by suicide just as he was beginning his senior year of high school with absolutely no signs or indications of what he was about to do. Chrisy is still in the thick of her grief, but she is beginning to see glimmers of beauty coming from the ashes of her loss. I hop…
 
Jason and Amy Carter are my guests again today as we continue our discussion of their book "Oaks and Ruins - Letting God Redeem Your Loss", which they wrote after the death of their daughter Katie Beth in the fall of 2016. This book is based on Isaiah 61:3-4 and includes eight chapters brimming with wisdom and encouragement for grieving moms and da…
 
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 …
 
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 m…
 
What does it really mean to be there for someone who is grieving? How can you do better at being there for someone who has endured such a loss? Not just for Bereaved Parents but universally.--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/lifeafterchildloss/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/lifeafterchildloss/support…
 
It's difficult to trust God again after or when your child dies, plain and simple. We often feel like He'll be mad at us or "strike us down" because we're grieving and we're having a natural emotion or reaction to what we are facing. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/lifeafterchildloss/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/lif…
 
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…
 
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 discuss…
 
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 daughte…
 
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 sp…
 
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…
 
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 p…
 
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 p…
 
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 a…
 
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 l…
 
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 y…
 
"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, w…
 
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 heal…
 
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 wi…
 
"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 regardi…
 
"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 …
 
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 to…
 
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…
 
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 ma…
 
When Deborah's daughter Katelyn was murdered in 2018, she found herself in the middle of a challenging legal process filled with delays and frustrations. (You'll want to listen to last week's episode to hear more about Katelyn and her story.) Today, Debbie shares what God taught her as she moved through that process, and discusses issues of forgive…
 
In February of 2018, Deborah Ervin's life was forever changed when her 26-year-old daughter Katelyn's life was taken by an intruder in their home. In the first half of this two-part episode, Deborah shares the story of Katelyn's remarkable life and how God called her to “be still” throughout the ensuing legal process. Links related to the While We'…
 
Shortly after my 17-year-old daughter Hannah died, I began blogging, and I kept it up for several years. In the winter of 2011, about 2 ½ years after Hannah’s death, I wrote two blog posts … one titled Ten Things That (Still) Make Me Sad (last week's podcast episode), and one titled Ten Things That (Still) Make Me Smile, which I’ll be sharing in to…
 
This coming Saturday will mark 13 years since my 17-year-old daughter Hannah went to Heaven, and I hope you won’t mind indulging me with some memories over the next couple of episodes. Shortly after Hannah died, I began blogging, and I kept it up for several years. It was always so helpful to me write out my thoughts, struggles, and victories. I se…
 
Have you been looking for a fresh, new Bible study as we move toward springtime? Maybe one that's not necessarily about child loss ... but one that was written by a bereaved parent so a "child loss perspective" is woven seamlessly throughout the study? Then you'll want to listen in to today's episode to hear about "A Race Well Lived", a 13-week Bib…
 
Grieving parents are often encouraged, explicitly or implicitly, to "move on" with their lives. In today's conversation with Joshua's mom, Michelle Moore, we discuss how hurtful that idea can be, and propose a much better alternative ... Moving F.O.R.W.A.R.D. If you'd like to hear Michelle and her husband Michael share Joshua's story more fully, yo…
 
I remember how I felt about the passing of time in the early days after Hannah went to Heaven. How at first I counted every day that she had been gone. How I eventually started counting in larger units of time ... a week, two weeks, a month, three months, six months, nine months, a year, five years, a decade. How I dreaded those anniversary dates t…
 
When Nan's 12-year-old son Connor died suddenly and unexpectedly after a brief illness, she descended into a very dark place, and remained there for over a decade. She was adept at hiding her darkness, so her friends and family weren't aware of the battle she was fighting. But at her deepest level brokenness, God met her and drew her out of that pi…
 
Connor Deal was a 12-year-old boy with big plans for his life; in fact, he had dreams of being the next George Lucas. He loved his brothers and his mom and dad, and he also loved the Lord. A sudden illness that began with a simple headache rapidly became critical, and he went to Heaven in February of 2009. Today, I talk with his mom, Nan. Nan descr…
 
The story of Jesus calling the disciples to drop their nets and follow Him made me think about some ways we might relate to that story as bereaved parents. I share those thoughts in today's episode. Links related to the While We're Waiting ministry: Our website: www.whilewerewaiting.org Our public Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/whilewearew…
 
Anthony Villaflor was a sensitive and thoughtful young man who loved others well. The murder of his father when he was a young teen caused him to seek God, which ultimately led his mom, Erica, to a relationship with the Lord as well. In the spring of 2014, Anthony went to sleep and didn't wake up due to an accidental drug overdose. In today's episo…
 
As bereaved parents, we know that some dates will be difficult -- Christmas, our child's birthday or Heaven Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day -- but we are often completely caught off guard by how difficult it is to turn the calendar to a new year for the first time after our child goes to Heaven. Today, Jill reprises a previous episode and shares…
 
Today's bonus episode offers just a brief word of encouragement as we step into Christmas this weekend. Hope may not be cheap ... But, thank God, it is free! For more information about the While We're Waiting ministry and the free retreats we offer for bereaved parents, please click HERE. To make a tax-deductible year-end donation to the While We'r…
 
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