Smiling at Angels

Written by Shenise Gatson

My two-old daughter smiles at angels.

She is my angel too. My earthly angel.

As we watched television together one evening, my daughter pointed into the air, towards the ceiling. “Look, mommy,” she said.

“What do you see, sweetheart?” I asked absentmindedly.

“Look, mommy,” she repeated. “Angel.”

I paused, heart pounding, “Where is the angel?”

Her beautiful dark brown eyes connected with mine, “Right there.”

Photo by Leigh Patrick on
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4 Ways to Avoid Comfort Clichés

Written by: Shenise Gatson

Pink Photo Flower Facebook Post

August 17, 2015

May 26, 2017

February 9, 2018

You never forget the dates. You wear them like clothes. Like the skirt you put on in the morning. Like the shoes you slip into every day. Through days of pain, through moments of sunshine… you remember.

– Author: Shenise Gatson (excerpt from Understanding a Grieving Soul)

On the dates listed above, my life changed forever. I lost my parents and my mother-in-law. Nothing could have prepared me for level of devastation and pain that comes from losing a parent. No matter how many times you experience loss, it still hurts. Because of my experience, I have a strong connection to individuals who have experienced loss. Lately I have been consumed by this need to encourage others to support grieving people.

In life, we all have moments when we feel bad for what someone else is experiencing but sometimes we do not know how to support them. When an unexpected, emotional or unfortunate event tackles someone we know, our heart goes out. Especially when that person has experienced loss.

We wonder…how can I help? What can I do? Sometimes words fail us. We fear reaching out because we are unsure of what to say or do. Often times, when people feel uncomfortable or awkward talking to a grieving person, they fall into the trap of using overly used phrases (clichés) to fill the awkward silence.

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