Golden Gate Bridge

Traveling to Cope with Child Loss (Part 2 - San Francisco Bay Area)

Traveling helps to broaden our perspectives and expose us to different realities. It can also just be plain fun to get away, do something different, explore more of this great world.


Prior to our son’s stillbirth, we had envisioned bringing him on a major international trip for a future milestone occasion like a birthday or anniversary.


However, Travis Jr.’s death shone light on the fact that tomorrow isn’t promised. So we decided: Why not go now while we had the opportunity? 


We booked the trip abroad and passed through the San Francisco Bay Area for a few days on the way there and back.


Upon pulling into San Francisco’s downtown, we immediately noticed the stark contrast between the wealth and poverty of the Bay Area, as is the case in many major cities.


The foul smells and many people who appeared homeless served as a reminder that we were not the only ones suffering. Our life trajectories may have been different from those of the people we saw, but we shared the common aspect of human suffering, which comes in so many forms.


It reminded us that suffering is an inevitable part of this world, but we can look forward with hopeful expectation to a better eternal world after death. 


As tourists, we traveled through San Francisco’s steep hills. A highlight was a private jeep tour that carried us through the beautiful scenery, showing awesome views of the coastline and Golden Gate Bridge.


The hills and valleys of the landscape paralleled with the hills and valleys of life. Hills and valleys co-existed. The mansions we saw along the tour co-existed with the people who were homeless. Yet, it’s likely that both the people in the mansions and the people on the streets had a lot more in common than they might imagine.


Both groups of people experienced joy and sadness in different ways. Both groups of people experienced hills and valleys of life. Both groups of people were created and loved by God. 


While in the Bay Area, we also took scenic drives north to Napa and south to Palo Alto and admired the beautiful landscapes along the way. The majestic mountains and cliffs in the Bay Area spoke to God’s creativity and awesomeness. The ocean’s waves reminded us of God’s love and grace that continually washes over us and gives us strength each day.


We enjoyed exploring a new part of the country together. Our trip had a shadow of sadness, knowing that we had envisioned Travis Jr. would be with us. But we appreciated the beauty of the experience nonetheless. 


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