Fall Fields and Mountains

When I was pregnant with my first baby almost 12 years ago we joyfully announced it to our friends and among our church family.  I remember one Sunday as I walked through the halls at church I stopped one of my girlfriends on her way to the children’s classrooms.

“Did you hear? We’re expecting!” I was so excited. First baby, first morning sickness, first everything. She stopped and chatted and she, who’d already borne a few babies herself, shared some of her wisdom.

I told her that I was working, how I was feeling and what I was nervous about. In the course of the conversation, to allay a pregnant mother’s fear of something, she waved her hand down and said, “Pshaw. People get pregnant and have babies every day; you’ll be fine.”

She didn’t mean any ill, and perhaps it was the progesterone coursing through my veins or maybe one of her kids needed her in the children’s church. Or maybe it was because God hadn’t taught me radical grace yet, but I almost reeled in horror.

I thought, yes, people get pregnant every day but I don’t get pregnant every day. How dare she reduce one of the biggest occurrences of my life to one that happens “all the time” to “everyone?” Isn’t my experience special?

My grandmother is dying right now. And by the time these words go to post, that might even be inaccurate. I might be scanning Travelocity for plane tickets for a funeral.

Last Thursday after my mother had called me and said the word “hospice,” I drove myself to the store and found myself weeping on the way. And I cursed myself because my grief surprised me. She’s my grandmother, not my child or my sister or even my own mother or father. She’s special to me and holds my history in her gnarled hands, but there is some distance, both geographically and emotionally.

Yet I wept.

And I began, mile by mile, to give myself the permission to grieve a death that is imminent but not yet occurred. I began to give myself the permission to recognize that grief, however small or big, is absolutely real and right to the person experiencing it.

Just visit a care facility: we age, our bodies and our minds break down, and we die. It happens every day. The pragmatic part of my heart tells me not to grieve from my core because this was always going to happen. The pragmatic part of my heart says that it’s okay because things like this happen every day.

But it’s happening to me. And it’s happening to us. And to her.

And it really hurts.

And because of that it is special and close to the heart of God. Jesus tells us that not a sparrow falls that He is unaware of. And that He is close to the broken-hearted. He is even close to broken hearts that break when we don’t want them to and hearts that break over griefs that may seem minor to the rest of the world.

So if you’re a girl like me who somehow along the way hasn’t given herself the permission to grieve even the small things, know that God grieves with you.

Or if you’re a girl who grieves big and hard at both the minor and major things of life, know that your heart is precious to God.

And if you’re a girl who is broken-hearted today whether or not you chose this or it chose you, please know that broken-heartedness is where we feel most drawn to Him.

Births and deaths happen every day, but the one that is in front of you right now is the most important in the universe to the God that created all of us.

Rest well in that and give yourself the permission to feel all that your heart has been created to feel.

  • http://walkingwellwithgod.blogspot.com Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God

    I am one of those girls who grieves big and hard. I have grieved my father’s death, the death of a marriage that I fought for, the deaths of grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even the death of my lovable four legged companion. Though those were all major events to undergo, I never felt God’s closeness like I did when I was grieving. He does draw near to the broken-hearted and like He says in John 14:18 – I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you. God is faithful to His promises.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      hmmm. thank you Bev. I’m so sorry for your loss. =( and yes, i agree that God is faithful. thank you.

    • http://courage carolrojek

      I just read close to the broken hearted. This was a difficult day for me since my Mom died in my arms 2 years ago today with a heart attack. I went to the grave and placed her scarecrow she liked them this time of year. I never felt closer to God He knows everything, so I thanked Him for taking my Mom out of pain for the 91 years she was here she had a terrible mood disorder and emotional pain. Jesus Christ has helped heal and show me who I am in Him. If it were not for Him I don’t know where I would be, today and forever. So I know I will see her again in Victory forever with the Lord.

  • Becky

    You will never know how timely this post was after what happened last night. Most of the time, I push my sadness and hurt back, but there are times when the wounds gape wide open and it physically hurts. Thank you for acknowledging that it’s okay to grieve. God bless you. Becky

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i’m so glad Becky and I’m so sorry you are grieving right now. may His peace be yours today.

  • http://www.lifeisforlivingbook.com Anita

    I find His closeness to the broken-hearted is part of the treasures of darkness that Isaiah wrote about. It’s true, it’s true, it’s true. For the big and little losses. Thanks for reminding me. He’s with me, and it’s going to be ok.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      that’s insightful anita. and yes, even for the little things. thank you.

  • http://www.kathycheek.com Kathy Cheek @ In Quiet Places

    I have been posting alot about hurt and losses this month and about what a wonderful God of comfort we have because He truly does take care of us in our pain.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      yes he is!

  • http://plantedoak.com kris scorza-sobieski

    “give yourself the permission to feel all that your heart has been created to feel.” love and need that reminder so often.
    lost my grandmother (and my final grandparent) recently and was thrown by the grief in it, the feeling of some of me being uprooted and taken away with her. praying for peace to follow your tears sarah. xo –kris

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i’m so sorry Kris. and thank you for your prayers.

  • http://brielleandme.net/ Kerith Stull

    As the mother of a 17yo daughter with moderate cerebral palsy, I am a master of grieving…well, I grieve in private and deep down inside where no one can see. But, I do grieve and do it every day. I was struck by your phrase “radical grace” and boy, do I need to be reminded of that daily. Blessings!

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      yes, kerith, his grace is radical. and i’m so sorry that you have daily grief. may God bring you peace today.

  • kimmie

    My grandma was almost 90 years old when she passed last May. She’d been “ready” for years. I spoke to her on the phone while she was in the hospital a few days before and she seemed so very lucid. That didn’t stop me from crawling into my husband’s lap and bawling my head off or from bursting into tears dozens of times between my mom’s phone call and the funeral service. Two months later my dad passed away unexpectedly. It was soooooo much to take at one time.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i’m so sorry kimmie. that kind of grief must be unbearable. hoping you continue to have peace.

  • Maggie

    Thank you for this beautiful post! I needed this just now. I have been going through a a tough breakup and it has brought a lot of feelings, emotions, and grief from some previous things (big and small) that have happened over that past several years. I never delt with them then and this time I am grieving big and hard because of all of it. I feel like if I had just “given myself the permission to feel all that my heart has been created to feel” the first time then I wouldn’t feel as miserable right now. So this time I am allowing myself to grieve, no matter how dumb I think it is, or how everyone says I should just be over it already. I am allowing myself to feel it all and grieve big and hard. And I am looking to God for hope of my future and praying that I can just keep the faith. Godbless! And I will keep you in my prayers Sarah.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      thank you maggie!! i’m so sorry you are going through a breakup. i hate that. i connect with what you said – it’s hard to give myself the permission to feel “big.” I hope that you find peace today.

  • http://theopenhome.org/ Jessica

    Beautifully written. Last year I had a similar experience of ‘grieving a death that is imminent but not yet occurred.’ My grandfather. There wasn’t time to fly out and it really hurt that I was the only grandchild that didn’t get to say my goodbyes. Acknowledging that this situation hurt and that God grieved with me really helped.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i’m so sorry jessica. so so sorry. =(

  • http://www.queenieslittlekingdom.com wanda

    I’m reeling with this very emotion right now. This past year I have traveled back & forth to Fl with my mother who was battling cancer. Until July 15th when she passed away. I had so much to do after that – that I didn’t have a grieving time.
    Fast forward to now….my two youngest daughters just moved to college and my house is empty.
    I’m overwhelmed with emotions. Sad, proud & anxious. Either one can hit at any given moment.
    My hubby has also changed jobs which has thrown us into a “sell our house” (the one we raised our 3 kids in) frenzy to move 90 miles away for his company.

    I’m one tiny step from losing it. It seems like I have a list of issues to grieve.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      Jesus, I just ask that you wrap your arms around Wanda right now. She is grieving so much loss right now. Please hold her close and give her that peace that is hard to understand.

  • Cellina

    Thank you. I needed this.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i’m glad, cellina!

  • Ty

    Thank you ;)

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      you are welcome!!

  • http://www.serranoadventure.blogspot.com Amanda Serrano

    I am here, right now. My gramma turned 90 on Friday, and we celebrated on Saturday with cake and ice cream and hugs and smiles. As we drove home, though, I was in tears, because in indescribable, quiet ways, I know we won’t be celebrating her 91st. She hasn’t been given a diagnosis or a timeline, but it is clear she is leaning in to the end, instead of away from it. Sometimes I feel I should not be grieving an end that hasn’t come yet. But I grieve because I love her so much, and no matter how much time we’re given, it’s never enough. Thank you so much for your words and encouragement to feel.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i agree. no matter how much time it is never enough. thank you amanda and i hope that you have peace and good times with her in the next year.

  • Andrea

    What timely words! My husband of 40 years went to be with The Lord in January of this year. I seem to be missing him more now than ever, from his incredible nachos while we watched the Titans play to our daughters upcoming marriage on September 21. I know he’ll be watching over the wedding at his “princess” but I pray for strength that day.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i’m so sorry that he will be missing the wedding, andrea. i’m so sorry for your loss. may God’s peace be yours today.

  • Annette

    Thank you! I needed to hear this today. I lost my dad on Aug 30, 2013. I grieved at the hospital and funeral. I have to face the world now. I have sleepless nights. This past Friday, I had the first birthday without him. I keep on telling everyone that he is in a better place and I know he is whole again. I try to laugh to keep from crying.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i am so sorry Annette. this wound is still so raw. don’t feel like you have to be “better”. Everyone grieves at their own rate an in their own ways.

      Jesus, please carry Annette today. Hold her in your arms and give her your peace. give her joy in a surprising way today. thank you for the life of her father and what he meant to her.

  • Penny

    I am so sorry for what you are going through.The comfort and strength from The Lord that I have received, is what has carried me through those times of grief.I pray
    that he will also bring to you comfort and strength to carry you through ……

    Peace,Comfort & Blessings to you and your Family Sara,


    • Penny

      I’m so sorry I left the “h” out of your name sarah.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      thank you penny!!

  • Nkiru

    Hello Sarah,

    Beautiful post!!! Thank you so much for your words. I am going through a bad patch. Break down of a long term relationship, lost my job, moving from a country I had come to call home cause my visa expired. I thought I will never smile again. Slowly but surely God is bringing me through it all. It feels good to know that Jesus is aware. If he knows the sparrow has fallen off the tree, then he must know I am in grieving.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i’m so sorry nkiru, may his peace be with you today!

  • Lu Wings

    May you feel His presence in that” most specialist of ways” unique to the two of you. May His healing balm sooth and enfold you, bringing you peace as well as courage and strength, in this moment you are in, and in the days ahead. May you gently allow yourself to ebb and flow with whatever feelings you have and simply to “be” where you are.

    May these be true for your Grandmother as well, as she says good-bye to what’s she’s known here, and prepares to embark on the next portion of her amazing journey.

    A sister from afar, having said good-bye to many a family member…..lifting you up in prayer-songs, with love…..

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      thank you so much! it means so much to me.

  • http://aheavenlyjourney.net Melissa

    A friend deeply hurt my feelings once several years ago. Someone we knew had just lost her battle with cancer and I was crying, and my friend callously said “Well she’s been sick for a while so it’s not like this is a surprise.” I was so stunned and angry. It took me a few years to realize that is how my friend deals with her feelings, she hides them behind a cavalier attitude and sarcasm. As I grow older I’m learning the many ways others deal with their feelings and to have grace for that. So maybe she was sick for a while. So maybe elderly people pass away every day. So maybe millions of women get pregnant all the time. But each person’s experience is unique and we all have a need to walk out that journey step by step, and when someone is going through an experience like that we need to be gentle with them.

    I’m very sorry about your grandma. May the Lord wrap you in his comforting presence today.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i agree melissa! and thank you!

  • http://facebook.com/imagesofgrace Margaret

    Thank you for such timely words – my husband died at age 61 this past July – today is a day with feelings very close to the surface.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i’m so sorry Margaret. I can’t imagine your pain. thank you for sharing your loss with us.

  • Sarah Schulz

    That is so beautiful. Thank you.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      thank you sarah!

  • Yvette

    I don’t often take the time to read the blog, but today I stopped when I read the title…
    I am grieving the flight of our third oldest daughter, flight out of the nest that is. My oldest graduated from college in May and decided to stay in Ohio to work as a nurse. My second oldest daughter went back to school in Ohio (I live in Fl) and our third just entered a Bible school 2 1/2 hours from us. I do have 5 other daughters at home, so grieving feels silly. I have not shed many tears, but they are welling inside. Thank you for reminding me that this is a season of transition and that each of my daughters is unique and each of our relationships are too. Maybe today I will allow those tears to fall.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i’m so sorry yvette. grieving should never feel silly but i understand what you mean. each loss is important.

  • Regena Mills

    This post spoke to me so deeply. I lost my Mother a little over 2 weeks ago. She had suffered physically for more than 20 years, with the pain increasing year by year. She suffered a stroke just a few weeks before she passed away and was in mental and emotional agony…it was horrible to witness…so her going to be with the Lord was a Blessing….I miss her so…but would never want her to be here in the pain she was in. She was a Godly woman and I know without a double she is with the Lord. Yet I weep…for me.

    About a year ago, my husband’s brother took his mentally affirmed parents to an attorney and had them sign all their property over to him…has convinced his mother that my husband had abandoned them, when in fact he check on them daily and never refused to do their bidding and care for them. We are fighting the issue in court and now my husband’s mother says she hates him. We had to fight to get visitation with my father-in-law, who is totally demented. This has aged my husband 10 years in the last few months. It hurts him so badly. We are praying for their souls…what a wicked world…

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i’m so sorry regena. i can’t imagine your losses. praying for your family today!

  • Diane Payne

    Thank you for that. I have a huge decision to make in my life right now that will affect others as well. I want to do the right thing and I feel so alone in it sometimes. Thank you for your words.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      thank you diane!

  • http://rochelle-learning-to-trust.blogspot.com Rochelle

    Thank you for sharing this. So sorry about your Grandma. You’re absolutely right though about it being so important to God and that it’s okay for us to feel and fully grieve, no matter how big it might not be to the rest of the world.

    I always hated it when people told me that about pregnancy too – it took me YEARS to get pregnant, don’t just toss it to the side like that. Ugh.

    Hugs to you!!

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      thank you rochelle!

  • Jen

    Thank you so much for your encouragement “to feel”. Made me cry. I’ve been working very hard all my life at trying not to feel. Joy, yes, but pain, no. Since there is always someone, somewhere, who is in so much pain and dealing with so much suffering…how dare I be sad about anything? How dare I cry? Or be angry? It has been bottling up inside of me for decades, and now I’m starting to feel, with God’s blessing. It makes me a real person. Yes, closer to God.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      wow. i love this jen. so true!

  • Jeanine Conner

    I just started giving myself permission to have feelings. Yes, people have gone through things much more difficult than me so I never paid much attention to feelings until recently. My chronic illnesses, my constant health struggles. All were related to my bottled up emotions. Emotions are there for a reason. We need to learn to deal with them, have them, revel in them. I’m tired of being the automaton the world requires “nice” girls to be. I can be justifiably angry and let that show because it matters. If we all try to be nice and lose our salt what good are we towards God’s purpose?

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      oh yes. we have a lot in common!

  • http://alreadyinhishand.blogspot.com Amanda

    Tears… Oh, Sarah, I am in this awful place too. My grandpa is on his death bed, and we’ve been visiting him almost daily. Every time we leave I cry, wondering if it’s the last time. I haven’t given myself much time to grieve, and when it sneaks up on me I feel guilty that I haven’t been sad enough. And when I’m sad I feel like I shouldn’t be so sad, not yet. But this, permission? Is what I needed. I’m so sorry we are both walking this hard road of grief… praying for you and your family now. Thank you for encouraging even as you suffer — that is true beauty.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i’m so sorry amanda. so sorry. and thank you for your kind words.

  • http://helenscornerblog.blogspot.com Helen G.

    What a timely post! Thank you. Today I am remember my dad’s passing, 9/9/02… 11 years ago. And believe me… time has gone by, it doesn’t feel as raw, but it’s never easy. Allowing ourselves to grieve, the big and the small events, is a gift we can only give ourselves. Today I am taking care of myself, letting myself remember the good and important moments I’ve had with my father.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      i’m so sorry Helen. and i love what you said about grief being a gift. thank you.

  • http://www.cherylricker.com Cheryl Ricker

    Timely post. My stepmother just passed away two hours ago. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      oh goodness, i’m so so sorry cheryl. praying for your family right now.

  • http://www.incourage.me Susan G

    I’m sorry for what you are going through with your grandmother. It’s real and sad and sometimes heart-wrenching – the life experiences that we all go through. And when they are personal to us, we are the ones who have to learn how to deal with the emotions of it all. I know people do not mean to be insensitive in what they say, and some are even TRYING to make us feel better. They just do not know how. And not all people are made the same, some are simply not very compassionate. We’ve all met those… I think the hardest thing for me has been to try to tell someone about what is going on, and my eyes are getting wet and my voice is cracking…and they are looking at me with a “dear in the headlights” look… I guess from our experiences with such people, we learn who we can “talk to” and who we can’t. My prayers are with you and your family. May His Comfort and Peace overflow you.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      Thank you Susan!

  • kelly

    today my sister would be 38…sometimes thru out the year it will hit me that she hasn’t been with me/us/family for 20 years and then other times it never enters my mind…I don’t know, for some reason THIS year she has been on my mind ALOT and i have some pretty emotional reactions to things that i don’t think i would normally have or should have. Because my family had never been a overly-talky family I am sure I’ve got some issues buried about when my sister passed, and just never dealt with. My hubby and I are in counseling right now because of children issues so I am sure my sister’s death will come up…I know it has colored some issues as my girls are 16, 13, 11…My hubby and i seem to have some conflict on issues regarding them. Like Susan said before me “I guess from our experiences with such people, we learn who we “talk to” and who we can’t” that is SO VERY TRUE….My prayers are also with you and your family, death of a loved one is never EVER easy…((((hug)))))

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      thank you kelly and i’m so sorry for your loss as well. =(

  • http://www.childrencount.wordpress.com Sarah

    Grandparents are very special. I loved both my grandmothers and always will. I’m sorry you’re having to cope with the loss of yours, but glad that you know the God who loves you and will never leave you.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      thank you Sarah!

  • Donna

    Thank you for writing. I am praying for you and your family. I am weepy today. It has been almost exactly a year ago when my only daughter got married in our backyard and my mother fell after the wedding and broke her neck. She died a week later. It is hard because of the joy of the wedding is mixed with grief. You are right when you say God is close to the broken hearted.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      oh that is terrible, donna. and yes, so many mixed feelings i’m sure. thank you for sharing your loss with us. thank you for commenting.

  • Laura

    As a family, we all grieve differently and from different perspectives. Lifting a prayer for you and for your extended family as you go through this process. Losing your mom is a weird feeling – so am praying for your mom. Hoping this is a time for you to draw even closer together as a family. God’s grace and comfort is amazing all the time, but He truly is near to the broken hearted.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      thank you so much laura. and yes, i’m praying for my mother as well.

  • http://theRunaMuck.com Amber Haines

    Sarah, this is just so so good.

    • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

      thank you love. =)

  • http://dianatrautwein.com Diana Trautwein

    Beautifully written, Sarah. And so very important. I wrote on the topic of lament – the beautiful language we are given in scripture for these very times – in my ADF post last week. I think the Spirit is moving amongst us to underscore this vitally important truth: grief is part of what it means to be human and it is important work for our souls/spirits/bodies. And often, it is the very place where we meet God in ways that are deeply personal and rich. Thanks for this piece of Holy Spirit work this week.

  • Jay Simmons

    Very, very, very well said. Prayers to your whole family.

  • http://exegete77.wordpress.com/ Rich

    Good words, Sarah. Grieving can take many forms, and sometimes surprise us. When my father died in 1991, I didn’t shed a tear for four months. Then driving to a meeting in Wyoming, I heard a song on the radio that brought the tears… so much so, I had to pull over to the side of the interstate, because I couldn’t see the road.

    But I have also learned that grieving takes 2-3 years, sometimes longer. Most people aren’t prepared for that later onslaught of grief. As I tell people in the congregation, allow yourself to grieve fully. Don’t rush it, but don’t deny it either. I still grieve our older son, not deceased, but missing for many years.

    In the end, the God of all mercy and comfort is so pertinent. You are demonstrating this in your post:

    Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the Father who is compassionate and the God who gives comfort. He comforts us whenever we suffer. That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God. Because Christ suffered so much for us, we can receive so much comfort from him. Besides, if we suffer, it brings you comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, we can effectively comfort you when you endure the same sufferings that we endure. We have confidence in you. We know that as you share our sufferings, you also share our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7 GW)

    God’s blessings in Christ,

  • http://middleofthemess.com Amy Lanham

    Geographic distance means nothing. Our grandparents are etched on our hearts. I lost my last grandparent this summer, and she wasn’t mine by blood, but my husband’s. A rich legacy has been lost. I sympathize with your sadness. Wishing peace for your family. Hospice is a scary word, but they have wonderful nurses who understand the tragedy of death.

  • http://www.jonesmama.blogspot.com Amanda Jones

    This post comes two days after the two-year anniversary of the loss of my grandpa, my last living grandparent. I was very close to both him and my grandma, the woman whose hand I held as she took her final breath and stepped into Heaven less than 2 years before. We know death is certain in this world, yet I am so thankful that we do not grieve as those who have no hope. As I grieved both of their losses, at times I felt the same way you described…they were old, their health was failing, it’s the way life goes. But they were MY grandparents and people I loved and admired my whole life. I was never going to be ‘ready’ to say goodbye. I am so thankful for the promise of Heaven, and the knowledge that I will see them again someday. (And I’m one who grieves big and hard, even for others…I count it a privilege the times I’ve walked the path of grief with those I’ve done so with.) Thanks for this today, Sarah. Thinking of you and your family…

  • Lina

    I am also a girl who does all emotions big and hard from laughter to weeping. At this point in my life I see that as a gift.

    I am sorry to hear that your grandmother is passing and yes, grieve all you need to. I don’t know that grief ever makes “sense” in the way we see it. We grieve because we loved and there is a loss. God made us this way. But we all are different in the way we express it, or even feel it. It is personal…

    Amen to you for giving yourself permission and to those reading you carry on the permission. It is terribly sad that we are so busy in this world that life and death are not celebrated more. That sometimes people don’t stop long enough to acknowledge the feelings of another and delight or grieve along with them. I am sorry that your friend was unable to be happy for you at the time. And as someone who miscarried a baby a long time ago – “babies don’t always come every day”.

    God does truly love the broken-hearted and His grace is sufficient to carry us through. If we can soak in those words and really feel them, they will help sustain us along the way.

    Bless you and your family through this time.

  • Fontaine

    I am grieving right now, too. my 10 month old nephew passed away two weeks ago due to a rare seizure disorder he had from birth. we were told the prognosis was not good, and we could see his little body was shutting down, and I know he is in the arms of Jesus. but I hurt for our loss. I hurt for a future unknown. I only saw him half a dozen times because we live 3000 miles apart, but my heart breaks and my arms ache to hold him. I feel like I’ve been grieving for months, because we all knew he wouldn’t see his first birthday on earth, but at the same time, it hurts anew to lose him.

    his mama is grieving too, of course. but I am afraid she hasn’t given herself permission to grieve big. she has a two year old and is due to have a baby girl in less than a month (they would have been ‘irish twins’- and three kids under three years old) and I know my sister thinks she needs to ‘be strong’ for them. and how do you celebrate the birth of a new blessing only a month after losing your baby?

    my sister is not a believer, but I am crying out to God for His strength and understanding. There is none, in such a situation, without Him.

    • maria

      Lina – I am praying for you and your sister tonight (her family too). I pray the Lord will be a strongly felt Presence as you go through this very very difficult, painful time. Crying for you both, and still knowing God will uphold you. You are so very loved!

  • http://www.adriennegraves.com Adrienne

    Sarah, I’m so sorry about your heartache and the reality of the imminent loss your family is about to experience/is experiencing! Grandparents are special in the lives of us kids, no doubt! It hit me earlier this year as I sat with my Gramps, telling him things in his ears as his eyes were about to behold Heaven, that he was my mom’s dad. Her daddy. It was profound for me because with Noah I was selfish in my grief, he was my son, our son, but over time I’ve realized he was also a grandson, a nephew, “my best friend’s son”, that no matter the role these beautiful souls play in our lives, grief is real and, though seems personal, is corporate and shared, which is how it should be, how it was designed to be.

    I’ll be praying for you all as you celebrate your Grandma’s life and grieve your loss. For all the hats she wore in all of your lives, I pray you will all find comfort from God’s peace in your grief.


  • http://www.feleciawong.com Felecia Wong

    Sarah, thank you for a beautiful post. I’ve been holding Psalm 34:18 so close to my heart for the past 2 years, since the going-home of my dear husband. When the pains seemed unbearable, I always reminded myself that Jesus wept with me and He’s always close even when I don’t feel Him.

    Sarah, know that God is holding you close to his heart as you journey through this season.


  • http://annieathome.com Annie Barnett

    Grateful for these words, Sarah, especially tonight, with a heavy heart here. Praying much comfort for you and yours, too.

  • http://www.BloomingWithJoy.com Michelle of BloomingWith Joy

    Beautifully said. When we feel insignificant or forgotten, its critical but difficult to remember Who we belong to.

  • Diane Taylor

    Sarah – first of all, my heart aches for you as you anticipate your grandmother’s passing into the loving arms of Jesus. Grief is hard. I knew that before I lost my beloved son. But when it hits YOU, hits YOUR heart, tears a hole into YOUR soul, it is different. It is real. So hard. So right in your face. You can’t escape it. No where to run and hide. Whether is is expected as is the case with your grandmother – or an unexpected, sudden loss of a soul you never thought could happen, which was my situation. All things get measured from that date – there is the “before” Diane, and the “after” Diane. Grief is mental, and so physical – what it does to your body is just shocking to me. I am one that grieves hard. And that is ok. I know that now I breathe for Jonathan. I live for him. Winnie the Pooh was my son’s favorite childhood character, and he once said this and it has stuck with me – I hope it speaks to you too. He said “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good bye so hard…..”. We are lucky indeed.



  • Laura

    I am so sorry for your loss. This is such an appropriate post for me. I was headed on a plane to my Grandmother’s this past weekend. I fully expected to be there when she died, but she didn’t. She is an amazingly strong woman and is clinging to life. She is very weak and will eventually die, but not yet. I got to grieve slowly and to see her one more time. I got to tell her I love her and to take care of her like she always took care of me. Grief is never easy, no matter who it is. I dread the phone calls that will eventually come, but for now, I will enjoy my memories. Death is always harder on those left behind. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  • http://www.thewordweaver.com Deb Weaver

    I am sorry, Sarah. May the Lord wrap you and your family in His love, grace, peace, strength, and comfort as you journey through this goodbye and grief. May you be keenly aware of His presence during this time. You are precious to Him.

    Deb Weaver

  • Beth Williams


    Sorry for the loss of your grandmother. Yes people and pets die daily, but it doesn’t cut the hurt, loss and pain we feel at losing them.

    I grieve big and hard. I lost my mom literally 4 years ago, but 2 years before that her dementia got worse and sundowner’s entered the picture. I was happy at her passing–knowing that her pain was gone and dad wouldn’t have to worry or care for her 24/7. Even now I mourn her loss periodically.

    Last August I lost a 4 legged pet. He died in my arms. That was a sad sad day for my hubby and I. He had been ill for a short time and even though we knew he would die one day it was still painful and hard to bury him. I miss him daily!

    Thanks for a great post!

  • http://www.gofundme.com/4695k4v Pat

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. I lost mine this past January and it’s hard. Yes, this stuff (pregnancy, death, insert whatever part of life here) happens to everybody…but you know what I’ve been thinking lately? It’s that even though we each handle these “situations” differently that we all have them allows us to come together as sisters in Christ and offer meaningful support to one another. It allows us to reach out the understanding hand of grace to another person because you’ve been there too!
    I’m on the tail end (hopefully) of a really difficult season in my marriage. My husband has been unfaithful for the majority of our just over 10 years of marriage. I didn’t know about it until about 4 years ago. It’s been super difficult. Broken hearted doesn’t even begin to describe how I’ve felt the last 4 years as I’ve watched women who should have never been “part of my marriage” come and go. But I do know this. While God didn’t change my situation He did change me. It was my broken-heartedness that led me to him in the first place. I will forever be grateful to a pastor’s wife for the gift of a ticket to see Lysa Terkeurst and hear her speak about Unglued. It turned my life around.

  • Christy

    Loved that you wrote such a thoughtful post that touched so many people. I too am struggling and it helped to read both your post and to read rhrough everyone’s comments. I recently found this message about dealing with struggles one day at a time and it helped so much too!

  • Courtney

    I don’t usually comment on posts… even when they touch me to the core. But this one? It’s exactly what I am feeling and can’t say right now.

    “Births and deaths happen every day, but the one that is in front of you right now is the most important in the universe to the God that created all of us.

    Rest well in that and give yourself the permission to feel all that your heart has been created to feel.”

    I’m expecting our first child. And, at 30 yrs old, I’m the very last of any friends I even slightly know, to be having our first child.

    Although well-meaning, the reaction I am getting is just like the one your acquaintance gave you. And it feels like a bit of the special-ness is robbed from me because it’s old hat to everyone else by now. So, my Love and I have been sharing the special “firsts” together- just the two of us. He is my best friend, after all.

    But my heart is also very heavy. I am worried about our future and my (extended) family is so very very dysfunctional and just bad. I have said for years that when my Love and I expand our family, there will be a serious hedge of protection to go up around our little family nucleus. But my extended family (parents, siblings) still have a way of pulling me down and marring what should be the happiest moments. That is happening even now, as we are trying to reclaim our home when my sibling moves out… except that she can’t seem to afford to. It is suffocating.

    Right now- it is all I can do to choke back the sobs at work, and not let the tears drown me when the night comes. I so desperately want my home back. My Love and I are excited, happy, terrified, and overwhelmed- and we don’t have a private place to turn too, to find breathing room. Someone else is always there- needing and taking. I must sound awful but this has continued for so many years and I am so tired.

    And.. I wish I could share in the joy of this new life with a girlfriend who still got the wonder of the first time, without all of the advice… the tons of advice…

    And so I’m here…. typing out this ridiculously long comment that has no rhyme or reason, trying to resist the urge to delete it, asking for prayer.

    I have no other outlet of Christian women to turn to.