Standing together in grief

Today my heart is heavy for the Koldenhoven family. I did not know this family well, but my niece goes to school with Olivia, and I know Leah’s parents. 

Last week, this was posted on the Christian Schools Facebook page. Friends and family of Grand Rapids Christian Schools, we need you and your prayers. Leah Koldenhoven is a graduate of Grand Rapids Christian High School and is the mother of 4 young children (ages 4 to 12), 3 of which attend Grand Rapids Christian Schools.

Leah has been heavily involved in the planning Foot Frolic Frenzy fundraisers and has worked hard for the Iroquois campus. Leah loves the Lord, and she is an amazing mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, and a friend.

Leah has been battling cancer for the last 3+ years, and at this time, Leah, her husband Mark, their children, and their family need us to rally around them in prayer right now. If you can, please join us at the circle drive at Iroquois this morning after drop off (Wednesday, February 3 at 8:30 am).

We will walk around the school praying with each lap for healing, peace, and each member of their family (please observe all mask and social distancing requirements). If you cannot make it, we ask for your prayers from wherever you are.

May be an image of 5 people, child, people standing and outdoorsLast evening Leah met Jesus.

My heart is heavy as the loss is immeasurable for her husband, children, family, friends, and community. My niece is in 6th grade with Olivia, and I was struck today by how kids carry a friend’s heartache. They have compassion and concern, they weep, and they anticipate how they will support her when she returns.

Today my niece talked about how she felt her grief return when my Dad died almost three years ago. We talked about how someone else’s loss can awaken our sorrow.

I hope and pray that each of us will show up in our communities where sorrow flows through the people we know and love. Show up with gentle words (not advice), show up with presence, show kindness and compassion, and love.

Be kind to your hearts if someone else’s loss provokes your own story. Allow those with fresh losses to have their own space. After you are present with someone else, create some space for your remembering with people who can be present with you.

Grief is powerful
Grief is complex
Grief is painful
Grief is a gift
Grief is present in living and loving!

God be close to Mark, Olivia, Elliott, Grant, and Winston, and all who will miss Leah in their daily spaces.

God, give us eyes to see, hearts to feel, words to speak, and hands to serve those around us who are grieving.

Blessed be His name!

Author: trishborgdorff

I am on a life long journey to live with integrity, honesty, kindness and full of grace.

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