topics:
Grief Healing
02262016_LysaTerkeurst_Perpsective

Losing someone you love can cut into your heart so viciously it forever redefines who you are and how you think. It’s what I call deep grief.

It strains against everything you’ve ever believed. So much so, you wonder how the promises that seemed so real on those thin Bible pages yesterday could possibly stand up under the weight of this enormous sadness today.

I once stood at the side of a casket too small to accept. Pink roses draped everywhere. And I watched my mom as she lay across the casket refusing to let go. How could she let go? Part of her heart lay within, so quiet and so still.

I stood paralyzed and stunned. Just days ago we were laughing and doing everyday things and assuming that all of our lives stretched before us in spans of many, many years. And then suddenly . . . it all stopped.

In the flurry of funeral plans and memorial services we all operated on automatic. People were everywhere. Soft chatter filled in the gaps that our stunned silence could not. And people brought in enough food to feed the whole neighborhood.

But eventually people went back to their own lives. The soft chatter dissipated. The food stopped coming. And we were forced to carry on. Only we had deep grief wrapped about us that made our throats feel strangled and our feet stuck in mud.

I remember around that time when I tried to go to a drive-thru to order some food. But I couldn’t. I sat there with the speaker spouting words at me I couldn’t process. The cashier kept asking if she could take my order.

Yeah, I had an order. Take away my bloodshot eyes. Take away my desire to hurt the doctors that couldn’t save my little sister. Take away my anger toward God. And then take away my guilt for being the one who lived. I’ll take all that with no onions and extra ketchup, please.

I drove away sobbing. How dare they offer happy meals! No one should be happy today. Or tomorrow. Or next year.

This is the reality of deep grief. Even when you love God and believe in His promises. Even when you know without a doubt that someday you will see your loved one again. Even when you know hope is still there. Even when you know He is near.

It takes time.

It takes wading through an ocean of tears.

It takes finding a possession of your loved one you thought was lost and realizing God did that just to comfort you.

It takes discovering one day that the sun still shines. It takes being caught off guard when you catch yourself smiling, only to realize it’s okay.

It takes prayer.

It takes making the decision to stop asking for answers and start asking for perspective. It takes telling people to please not avoid saying her name — you want to hear it, over and over and over again.

Then one day you take off the blanket of deep grief. You fold it neatly and tuck it away. You no longer hate it or resist it. For underneath it, wondrous things have happened over time. Things that could only have come about when Divine Hope intersects with a broken world.

And finally you can see years stretching before you once again. You look up, blow a kiss, wipe a tear and find it’s still possible to dance.

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  • Roz McDonald

    Thanks Lysa
    Great description of what its like. I lost my husband 6 years ago and I was thinking about him today and the enormity of it all. One days discussing our future life and plans and a couple of days later he had a massive heart attack and dropped dead infront of me. HUGE – you bet it was but your right amazing things have happened along the way and my kids and I find we can dance and have fun again. There is hope in our future.

    • Diane

      Roz, I too lost my husband 6 years ago. He was permanently disabled at age 28. I was strong all those years, working, taking care of him and our children. I completely fell apart when he passed away. Six years later I am having more good days than sad days. I keep busy, but sometimes the loneliness is overwhelming. With the help of my children and family, I also see bright days now and in the future. Take care, and I wish you the best.

    • Lynne

      It has only been 3 1/2 years since I lost my husband…after almost 40 years of marriage. He was only 59. We were high school sweethearts and I felt (and still feel) like half of me is missing. But I know I have only gotten through it with the hope and peace of Jesus. There are still times when I miss him so terribly and I pour out my heart to God, and He never fails to fill me with peace. Those first terrible days are over, and I feel like I can breathe again. As Lysa said, even though I am a believer and I know I will see him again, that pain of loss is so very real. Thank you God that You alone can give us hope, joy and peace to get through each day!

  • Deb

    So beautifully said and written. I lost my mother over ten years ago. It was a very rough but where would I have been without the Lord. And Yes, time is a great healing factor and talking to the Lord was my greatest comfort. Thank you Lysa!!

  • Judy

    I needed this today. 3 years ago yesterday, my 20-year old nephew committed suicide. Emotions from that day pop up, feelings of helplessness, and grief. I hurt for me….I hurt for his mom and dad and sister….I hurt for others out there dealing with similar circumstances. A couple of times yesterday I found myself laughing and would feel guilty on such a sad day. Thanks for making me realize and remembering it’s ok to smile and it’s ok to laugh. I know God has a plan in all of this – even though to me it still makes no sense. I thank God for you – and others in the Proverbs 31 Ministries – for sharing your stories and God’s word. I’m still amazed (and grateful) when God gives me what I need – when I need it most!

    • Ariesa

      Amen Judy! Praise God that you were encouraged and strengthened in the areas where you needed it most.

    • Tammy

      My 41 year old brother took his life 2 days before Thanksgiving. We are still walking through the grief, same helplessness, guilt and agony. I hurt for my sister in law..there 2 kids, my Mom and myself his big sister. I feel your pain and also the days of laughter with my own family, sometimes guilt with it as he is no longer with his family. I must remember that is not from the Lord. God brings Beauty from Ashes that I can not know or see yet. I will see my brother again in Glory. Praying for your family. God Bless. Deep grief does shake our foundation.. Well spoken.Thank you!

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Lysa,
    Thank you for sharing so openly. I think I miss my dad more with each passing year. I believe that God builds in you a greater sense of renewed appreciation. Sometimes we grieve, not only over death, but the loss of a marriage…a relationship with a child…any severed relationship. Divorce was one of the hardest grieving processes I have gone through. But, through it all, I have become more confident that I need to run to God’s loving and comforting arms and that He will never leave nor forsake me. Beautiful…
    Blessings,
    Bev

  • http://www.drcarolministries.com/ DrCarol

    Lysa, I can only say that God’s timing is impeccable – again! My husband died six days ago, and we are laying him to rest today. Here’s what I’m going to say at his funeral this morning:
    “Death, you may think you have won. The wounds you have created are deep, and we will mourn them for a time. It may appear you have won this battle. But in truth you have already lost the war. And every life that you take – temporarily – is but another nail in your own coffin. Death, you will be destroyed! And this man – along with me and all the rest of us who trust in Jesus – will live forever!”
    I know the grief will come in waves over the coming weeks and months. I also know that I have a mission to continue to fulfill. In the darkest times, I will remember that the sun still shines, and that one day I will dance again.
    Thank you for sharing – especially today!

    • Linda Miltzow

      I am so sorry. Sending long and tender hugs. Reading this morning that Jesus is the Way, Truth, and the LIFE. He has prepared a place in His Father’s house for each of us who believe. HOPE…one day we all will be with Him!

    • Jas

      DrCarol, I am so sorry for your loss and I ask the Lord to provide comfort for you and your family, now and always He is there for you., Amen

  • Kathy

    Lysa, this is a message for every one of us one time or another. I lost my husband of 32 years to pancreatic cancer. 2008 New Year’s Eve was fun and happy, then the next day, out of the blue, he was diagnosed and we were told he had a few months to live… I didn’t plan my life after him… we were united in Christ, so I guess I thought we would both die… after all, God had made us one flesh, right? Had it not been for GriefShare, I don’t know how I could have gone on. After 2 13-week sessions, bathed in God’s word, surrounded by other believers who were walking the same road in their own losses, we all began to heal in Christ. The pastor leading GriefShare asked if I would want to be trained as a facilitator for GriefShare… I prayed and thought and considered how God had worked in my life through this incredible, Bible based ministry and decided to go for it. Since then, I have facilitated many groups and have witnessed the incredible healing and restoration God brings about through submitting to Him prayer, scripture and surrounded by support that is founded in Christ. I would never have imagined this in 2009, but God has blessed me with another husband in Christ, who also lost his wife to cancer, and we are now about to begin our 3rd session of GriefShare, co-facilitating to support others as we were restored in GriefShare. Lysa, thank you for reaching out, acknowledging the depths of grief through Proverbs 31. You are touching and comforting your readers at the deepest in their hearts!

  • A

    Thank you, Lysa, for the sharing of this deep knowledge of grief. As I seek to continue to move through the grief of a hoped for future and family lost, I know that the Lord is with me at each step, even when He seems far away. Nothing, not even grief, can steal the comfort and joy He has for us for He never leaves our sides. The one thing we cannot do is stop in the middle of grief, but pray to keep moving with Him guiding each step, drawing closer to Him as we go. May He lift up each person here today close to His tender heart, so close that we hear it beating softly for us :)

  • Sharron Butler

    With me, it was a my beautiful 15 year old granddaughter, full of love and laughter and beauty – and with so much life left to be lived . . . killed instantly along with three of her friends in a car accident on Halloween night. We were in church the next morning when we got the call, the one morning my husband had forgotten to turn his phone off. Of course everyone laughed and he immediately just shut it off . . . until after the service . . . and he looked to see who had called on a Sunday morning when everyone knew where we would be . . and then the sucker punch, the collapsing, the “it can’t possibly be true” – not our precious Brooke! I had already lost both parents and my two sisters so I understood grief, but the suddenness of losing her with absolutely no warning and at such a young age was different and worse than anything I had EVER been through. This was, and is still, the kind of deep grief from which without my faith and the knowledge that I can KNOW I will see her again, I could not go on.

  • http://www.jenniferwaddleonline.com Jennifer Waddle

    Wow, Lysa, thank you. I was just starting a devotion about grief this morning and your beautiful words will be ones that I share. You write so sincerely. Thank you.

  • Elaine

    Thanks Lysa! I lost my mother the first of the month. She had dementia but still she is gone She is with Jesus. I truly miss her because she was my best friend. Thanks for these thoughts.

  • Heather

    Timely. We recently found out my husband’s cousin and dear friend/mentor committed suicide. And then a couple days ago an 11 month old baby in the center where I work died suddenly. It has been such a time of emotional exhaustion. This was helpful. Thank you.

  • Suzan

    Praying for you Alexandra…..

    • Linda Miltzow

      So am I …

      • http://tracihaney.wordpress.com tracihaney

        Oh my… as I sit here in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Texas, I find myself choking back the tears as I feel such empathy for you right now Alexandra. May the God of all comfort, comfort you as only He can during this time of loss. As you find yourself in a sea of deep grief, I pray that you will not be overtaken by the wind and waves. God, please let Alexandra feel your arms around her as you carry her through this time. Continued prayers for you sister.

  • Lesley

    Thank you for this post. It really ministered to me. I can relate on every point! Our younger son, Andrew passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on July 1, 2003 at 20 years of age. Through this devastating loss I’ve learned so much. The “why” is a tough one. I didnt ask why? But more “how,” how could this happen? Which really was my “why.” Through it all, God showed his mercy and grace to me and his presence with Andrew and all of us was so evident. I resolved to leave my “WHY” with Him, because even if I knew why it wouldn’t change any of the pain i was feeling and that the why would be revealed when I see Jesus face to face, and then it won’t matter any more. My comfort comes today from knowing that God saw Andrew safely home and I will see him again one day. We don’t move on from a loss but we move forward. One day at a time.

  • LivingLifeUnscripted

    A dear friend shared this with me today. Through many tears, I want to say thank you for these words. Incredibly difficult and painfully transparent words.  I have two sons that I will be sharing this with as well.
    You see, two weeks ago, today, my 7 y/o daughter Janet took her final breath. My heart feels so completely shattered and broken right now, and I could identify with each and every word you spoke.
    One thing I’m finding, though, is that God’s love, in large part through people who surround us and also written words such as these – His love is finding it’s way in and permeating the broken places. Through Him, I AM able to smile. Through Him, I’m just staring to feel like I can breathe again.
    So, for all those reasons and more, it is with a heart full of gratitude and love that I share heartfelt thanks. Know I’m grateful.

  • Janny

    This is perfect timing. I took a break from getting ready to attend my dad’s funeral today, and this link was in my newsfeed. Thank you for the support and reminder of Gof’s promise that this will get easier ❤️

  • Tammy

    Yes!! 9 years ago my oldest daughter died in a car accident. How do I still be the mom to her 3 younger siblings, and their grief when I am in the darkest place of my life? The Lord has been merciful! My husband and my marriage is stronger now than ever before. He realized that God was leading him down the Pastor role, he is now the chaplain at a beautiful nursing home nearby. I continue in my nursing career, seeing glimpses of her in my other children…. God is so good at restoration!

  • Marisa Geier

    Starting at the age of 39 I lost almost my entire immediate family in a 20 month period: mom, grandma, dad, husband, and brother. I cried every day for 4 years straight. This is exactly what it’s like.

  • Jani

    Sweet mamas heart. I pray for The Comforter to come as you hold inanimate objects your boy held in his hand, only to feel closer, or to “smell” him again. My heart hurts for yours. Iamso sorry.

  • Therese

    I understand this deep grief all too well. My young husband passed away in June of 2014 after battling cancer. We had no children and I have no family. My mom passed away when I was only seven years old. My dad passed away three days after my 39th birthday.

  • Leigh Nicks

    I’m grieving the loss of my brother. I needed this today. Thank you for sharing.

  • Lynn D. Morrissey

    Lysa, thank you. Thank you so much. This is an exquisite post (and I use that term, exquisite, especially since it’s a word in its true meaning that can bespeak both pain and beauty.). I so appreciate your sharing. I still grieve the death of my beloved father, but it’s a little easier now to remember the good times with him. And our dear friends just lost their fifteen-year-old son. He was healthy and then he was gone. They are just beginning their grief journey. I hold to the hope that it *is* a journey, and that they will get through to the other side. In the midst of grief, I rejoice that my father and this boy have, indeed, gotten through to the ultimate other side. They are with Christ. There is such real hope and comfort in that in the midst of grief and tears. I am so sorry about your little sister. I can’t imagine what her loss was like for you years ago. But I am so glad you are able to share about this to comfort others and that you are able to smile, look up, and yes, dance.
    Love
    Lynn

  • Marimar Olvera Tellez

    Thank you for this.. I lost my baby girl three weeks ago and I can’t seem to process it yet.. You never expect this when its a new life and everyone is waiting for her with open arms.. Her heart just stopped beating a day before her due date.. Exactly what is written here, I feel.. So much anger, questions, doubts…

  • Angie L

    I lost my dad Feb 3 I miss him so much I feel a piece of my heart is gone so really hard….

  • Dena Ruska Love

    Wow. God never ceases to amaze. I knew this weekend would be difficult. Tomorrow will be 18 years since my brother was murdered. My phone gave me a notification of a new email. It was for this post from Lysa. Dealing with deep grief. Oh how deep it is. Thank you Lord. For THIS timing. YOUR timing. Will I ever come out of this deep grief?

  • Andrea H.

    Thank you. I lost my husband, my heart, ten months ago tomorrow. ❤️ Deep grief, it’s still here, and I know I have to mive forward, so I do. There are no answers, just prayer and acceptance. That’s where I am today.

  • Melissa Jones

    I am sitting beside my husband who is lying in a hospital bed receiving only comfort care and waiting on hospice. He has had 2 serious strokes since December 22. So far with the grace of God he is defying the doctors and improving instead of the expected decline. I may be getting a prayed for miracle or I may be facing this deep grief soon. Either way I know my God is with us and that I will be okay. Your More Than a Good Bible Study Girl OBS and posts like this have been instrumental in keeping me centered on Him during these trying times. Thank you for being a guiding light to The Lord for me.

  • Cindy

    Simply beautiful!!! Thank you.

  • anonymous

    The source of my grief was abandonment by my husband. No funeral to process anything, no casseroles or sympathy cards….just financial devastation and pain deeper than I knew could be known given to me by the one who promised his love until death. No one speaks to me about what happened. No one asks how I am. Holding on with all of my might to the One who will never abandon me and Whose love is perfect and complete. Thanks for offering to walk beside me and care. Oh, how I needed that.

  • Judy

    Thank you for this… How do you explain grief for a child who’s still living? But who has cut our hearts so deeply… Beyond words… Charged with criminal actions towards his own daughter, and now paying the penalty in prison, but not before causing so much pain that he is estranged from his wife and 3 children… How do you go forward when sorrow and shame and heartbreak overwhelm our every moment…

  • Tracy Anderson

    It’s all to new & overbearing for me at this time. Yes, since last October it has felt like my world has been shattered. It feels like a constant stab deep in my gut all while being strangled with those words that I heard last October 7, 2015 when I got the phone call about my 58 year old Dear Mom who lost her life to a domestic violence situation and a gunshot wound that I feel in my own chest everyday. I often wonder what exactly happened and so desperatly desire answers that I may never have.
    Will you pray with me through my ocean of tears? We have an enormous family (5 children, 18 grandchildren) with an enormous void in our lives without her presence. However, I know I have made it this far with whom I call my Savior & all things are possible.

  • Rebecca Jones

    Grief is a terrible thing. Even the Holy Spirit can be grieved. He is there to comfort when only God has all the answers. I am not a professional counselor, but I encourage people to focus on the fact that as believers, we will be reunited in heaven, it’s not that your prayers are not answered bu He knows when a person is no longer able to fight. Jesus conquered death and He is merciful. It’s normal to grieve, remember and even hurt over a loss. But there is a place where “normal” grief turns to something that can be cruel and oppressive, that’s the time to seek help, and especially from Jesus. I am sorry for your losses. I pray peace to replace grief, in Jesus name.

  • ROSY

    Lysa I lost my dad last year. March is his birthday and April will be the 1 year anniversary of his death. I have been calm but with these two month coming near i feel myself anxious, wanting to reach out to pictures, memories and listening to videos to hear his voice. I miss my daddy. My dad was a man of God, always praying, always talking to everyone about Jesus and the end times. He was a musician and loved to play the accordion, piano and loved to sing. I know right now he is with God in a better place and knowing that gives me peace. Dealing with grief is important and your words bring comfort. Thank you. Rosy

  • Penny

    I read this post this morning & not long after I got a call I’d been dreading.
    Lysa, thank-you for sharing your grief with us, I am deeply sorry for your loss.
    Today that song, ‘Everybody hurts sometime,’ comes to mind.
    For everyone that’s hurting I pray that you find peace and are comforted by the Lord.

    Penny

  • http://www.annepeterson.com/ Anne Peterson

    Being someone familiar with grief, may I just say this really resonated with me. I found that in order for me to live my life, I needed to grieve. Pushing it down didn’t work. Numbing it didn’t work. I had to embrace it. And when I did, God brought something beautiful out of it all.

  • Shellie

    Lysa…..I am in this hard, hard place of deep grief. So few understand the enormity of how it shakes one’s faith – even to the point of unbelief. I am holding on to what I believe ABOUT God’s promises with sheer will until my heart can truly believe again. I love God with all my being…I truly do….but He has wounded me so. I have lost too much…and everything I ever believed about God’s provision and faithfulness to my family has been shattered. Yet I know there is hope and a future ahead somewhere – I just can’t see, feel or know it today. That is why the “today”s are so very, very hard just now. Thank you for sharing your heart. It is comforting to know I am not alone. <3

  • smilechick

    This is an answer to a prayer! I still grieve the loss of my precious Daddy from a year and six months ago, but most importantly, a dear sister in Christ who has just loss her mother. I have prayed about how to minister to her through her grief!

  • Gs

    Dear Alexandra. I know the pain you are feeling. My beloved son moved to heaven in 2012 at the age of 25. He drowned on the 4th of July. I am so sorry for all those things you are and will have to endure for the rest of your life without your son. I can trstify that God is faithful through it all. He sees you and hears you. He collects your tears in a bottle and writes your name on his palm. Continue to cling to His promises. Gods grace isn’t anesthesia but the Hope we have. Each day is a day closer to seeing Jesus and your son. Hugs!!!

  • Karen

    My mom died last month. People speak of loved ones and have comfort they went peacefully. I don’t have that. I had to beg them to stop the CPR that she never would have wanted. I grieved her for years. She was depressed and recluse but still my mom. Now she really is gone. I still have some work to do.

  • Carla McAlexander

    My 17-yr old daughter passed away 8 short months ago. I’m still asking questions. I’m still in deep grief. I still get caught by surprised by the reality that she is never coming back to this home…. where we shared those stories, tears and laughter. …. I’m still so broken

  • Sarah Sue

    I lost Bobby’s twin when I was 4 months pregnant. Bobby was my Miracle Child.
    Sadly, I lost Bobby shortly before his 25th Birthday.
    Sunrise July 17, 1980
    Sunset May 19, 2006
    Almost 10 years ago.
    I never really questioned Why?
    Not really.
    As a mom….THERE IS NO REASON. NOT A GOOD ONE.
    As a Christian. … as a believer. ….
    I allowed myself to get angry at God….For a short time.
    Then I did my best to live life.
    Still trying.
    I celebrate Bobby’s life.
    I am glad to know I will see him once again In Heaven.
    I shared this post.
    Hugs
    Sarah

  • Brenda

    Thank you, I am 49 and lost my husband of 20 years 11/11/15. My heart is broke but somehow i know i must pick up the pieces and go on for our 17 YO son. Some days are like drowning in a mud pit of sadness.

  • Marlene

    Thank you for sharing this. I feel stuck in the deep grief.. I lost my only daughter 4 months ago in a tragic accident. 3 weeks before her 4th birthday. Its definitely a journey I never thought I would have to face. The buckets of tears and wondering how everyone can be so happy when we are so so sad.. The waves of grief seem to crash so often. Clinging to Jesus and the hope he gives us even that seems too hard some days. Thank you for encouraging me to keep trying!

  • Leslie

    Thank you for sharing this. I lost my dad to suicide last September. We had no clue, he wasn’t sick. It was a shock and such a heartbreak to us all. He was a very happy go lucky person that loved everyone he met. This has been the hardest thing I have ever been through. We keep asking why…but will never know. Only God knows, and it’s not going to matter when we get to heaven. Grief doesn’t have a time limit but I hope it eventually gets better. It taught me a valuable lesson..talk to your love ones everyday. We are so busy, but have time to pick up the phone. I spoke with my mom minutes before it happened and could hear him in the background saying he loved me and then got the call ten minutes later that he was being flown to Vanderbilt. If I had only ask to speak to him maybe he wouldn’t have done it. Taking him off life support was the most horrifying thing I have ever seen. I have nightmares about it. Just tell your loved ones you love them everyday because you never know when they will be gone..

  • http://www.Theflawedtreasure.com Kristi

    Gorgeous. Thank you for putting words to this. I love this: “It takes being caught off guard when you catch yourself smiling, only to realize it’s ok.”

  • Rylee Donovan

    Today is THE day. The day I have dreaded for a year. At approximately 7pm tonight will mark the moment of the last breaths my mom took on this earth as I and family stood by her side, me holding (gripping to) her hand, praying to God not to take her from me. We were singing Amazing Grace as she took her steps from this life into the next. I never imagined how gut wrenching losing my mom would be. I lost my dad 5 years prior to losing my mom and I felt like I had a nervous breakdown then. I feel like an orphan now. I have no parents. No one will love me as much as they loved me. Unconditional love. And my heart hurts so bad.

  • Beth Williams

    Lysa,
    Blessings on being so open & honest here! Each person grieves differently! I have a good friend who had a miscarriage and grieves that loss yearly. The family visits the grave of her little girl!! It takes time to grieve loss-some losses take more time!! With God’s help & the love of friends you can get through it and learn to dance again!
    Blessings :)

  • Beth Williams

    Alexandra,
    Prayers for you sweet heart! May God guide you as you clean out the room! May He help you see memories instead of pain!!! May He shower you with His loving arms!!
    Blessings :)

  • Tammy

    Praying for you as I have watched my Mom endure the loss of my brother 2 days before Thanksgiving. He was 41 a husband, a father, a son, my brother. I walked the deepest grief losing my terminally ill Dad 2 yrs ago. But this is well unnatural a child before a parent.. the greatest loss there is. In the whirlwind of grief she walks I see the Lord with her and her now grasping for the help to live on.

  • Mandy Barton

    I lost my dad, my best friend, a year an a half ago to cancer. He came to see me graduate from RN school, but was in so much pain. I took him to the ER that night and I knew from the possible results and the ER doctor urging him to go home to Texas to see his PCP, that it wasn’t good. But it wasn’t for another week that we would realize just how bad it was. His doctor read him the pathology report, but did not explain what this all meant. So he called me, read me the report and said “what do I have?” I was so angry and heartbroken at the same time having to be the person to tell him, “it’s cancer dad. You have cancer.” I remember thinking in what world should a child have to tell their parent they are dying? He moved in with my family and me and I was his nurse for the next 15, heart wrenching months until he passed away in my home, surrounded by his children and closest family and friends. Hospice had gone before he passed, so I listened with my stethoscope as his golden heart stopped beating, with our family looking for me to say anything other than what I was about to say. “He’s gone.” With little options from conventional medicine we turned to many natural therapies. I knew I did all I could do and that it was out of my hands, but I still could not shake the feeling that I had failed him in some way. He had so much hope, so even when I knew things were getting worse I would lie to comfort him, as not to steal his hope. I know that’s what he needed, but to this day I am still unable to forgive myself and continue to drown in my sorrow as I do not know who I am without him. All I know is my heart is shattered and a part of me died with him. I prayed so much for God to heal him when I couldn’t, but he didnt. Not here anyway. I’m still troubled by my shaky faith, and haunted by this pain and remorse that I don’t know how to truly live. So I guess I just don’t know where to go from here.

  • Mary Ellen

    I lost my dad two weeks ago. The grief comes in waves. His illness was short, but difficult. I know our reunion in heaven will be so sweet when the time comes, but yes, living now in this new normal is very difficult. My dad was a man of God who lived and loved well. The lessons he taught me live on and I hear his words even now. He wants me to dance again, and in time, I know I will. Thank you for sharing this word. For others who grieve, may you be blessed as you remember…

  • sladd1955

    This was one of the most well written blog posts I have ever read regarding grief. I lost my son. It took me 10 years to be able to talk about it without losing my breath. Thank you for sharing. I’m going to print this so I can reread it when I need encouragement.

  • Joe

    I lost my father a few years ago, and worked with him for 30 years. We shared a unique father- son bond. He was the only person that I really ever shared gut hurting laughter with. No that he’s gone, I can not allow myself to laugh and be that happy about anything. My hard laughter turns to tears every time. I don’t know how to get beyond this, and feel free to laugh again. I feel guilty to enjoy it without him. Can you offer suggestions to overcome?

    • Mandy Barton

      Joe,
      I too lost my father. A year and a half ago. I share your feelings of guilt when I begin to laugh at something we used to laugh about or from thinking about what he would have said. I start cracking up and then it ends with tears. The lonliness, the emptiness, the guilt, the remorse. I haven’t quite figured out how to actually be happy and find peace. But I can say, that I do find comfort in doing things we used to do together, just by myself. It sort of makes me feel like he is still there with me. I’m not sure the pain will ever truly subside, but a part of my dad will live on in me forever, so one day when my heart is ready I will make sure I live each day to the fullest …. for the both of us. I hope you are able to find peace within your heart and know that he is loving you from a far. A father’s love never dies.

      Most sincerely,

      Mandy.

  • Robin Skinner

    If I could speak under the immeasurable
    weight of grief and sadness I would say it like this article did

  • Deborah Christine Gallier Cree

    My son Dustin Lee Creekmore was injured in the Explosion at Exxon Mobil on April 17th 2013 and fought hard for 10 days and we lost him on April 27th 2013. He is the baby of our family of 6 and was mine and my husbands only child together and my husbands only biological son. I write to him every night and share my feelings concerning the pain and grief that comes from the loss of a child. I write as it helps me and in hopes that my honesty and putting my feelings out there wil…l help someone else going through such a loss. My son’s loss was very tragic and could have been avoided if safety rules would have been followed. Because I had to see my son in such a horrible condition I not only have complicated grief but I suffer from PTSD. My middle son Josh who worked with him and found him suffers from Chronic PTSD. PTSD is real and debilitating. His loss has not only affected me mentally and emotionally but physically as well. I hope that my letters to him will help others see the gut wrenching pain that comes from the loss of a child and that there are no rules when it comes to grief. I do what I have to in order to stay somewhat sane and to keep from throwing in the towel and believe me there are times I have come very close….It’s my hope and mission that my candidness will help others…I’m sorry it has taken me so long to share my story with you all. It has been 2 years 10 months and 2 days since we lost our son of 24 years and 8 months. If any of you would like to join the Team Creekmore group please let me know as there you will see the heart of a grieving mother from the beginning. It may be of some help but know some of it is very graphic but very honest and also know I am just beginning to be able to grieve his loss withou all the obstacles that have been thrown our way leaving us with no time to truly focus on his loss.

  • Kendra

    Lysa, I read this today (on Mar 1) because until now, my world has stopped. You posted these sweet words on the day after my baby boy, Isaac Lee, was born sleeping and is now with Jesus. I feel like you perfectly expressed how I feel. Thank you for letting God use you.

    • Linda Miltzow

      Whispering tender prayers for you and all who held your dear Isaac close to their heart….I am so sorry. Long hugs and much love.

  • http://anexpectantheart.com Kristin @anexpectantheart.com

    Lysa, I always enjoy the beauty and ease with which you write. I found myself reading, surprised by the similarity of our stories – though different, because I was your mom. At 24 years old I stood next to large arrangements of pink flowers and my daughter’s casket, too small in deed. She was a month old when she died. Her casket fit in my husband’s arms as he carried her to her burial site. It wrecked me. I remember two days before shopping in a store by myself trying to find a black dress to wear to her funeral and the sales woman asking if I was looking for a dress for a special occasion, huge smile on her face. I simply said, “No.” When all of me wanted to scream out in tears that it was for my baby’s funeral. The happiness hurt. It’s been 6 years since then. The Lord has faithfully carried me through, but finally this year I feel like I’m coming alive again. So thankful we have a God who binds our broken hearts and brings us hope in the very darkest of places. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  • Marlo

    This finds me in deep grief that my daughter is locked away in a youth facility. After years of struggle I had to send her away to keep my family safe. I’m so tired. She calls me crying, wanting to see me. But how can you trust a child who has put you through so much. GOD help me. I feel like I’m drowning. I don’t wanna do this anymore. Fun my daughter and bring her home.

  • http://joleneunderwood.com/ Jolene Underwood

    Lysa, this is so touching and beautiful. I love your analogy of folding the blanket of deep grief, especially after allowing grief time and tears. My heart goes with you for the pain you’ve endured. Tears for your loss and for how God brings beauty through such painful circumstances. Thank you for following Jesus and showing us His beauty through you.

  • sarah

    We just lost my 21 year old nephew to a drug overdose less than 6 months ago…we didn’t even know he had a drug problem. My heart is broken. He was the first nephew, first grandchild and was loved dearly. Some days I feel like it hurts too much to smile but I keep moving, keep living, keep praying. But it is hard, sometimes the waves a grief hit me in a store, driving, talking to a friend.

  • Regina

    Yes.

    The blanket gets put away, but never completely out of sight. I’m confident that I can wrap up in it but know that I’ll come from underneath it again, more quickly, with more clarity and hope than I ever had or thought was possible.

    It does take time and so much prayer and so much help in people understanding how close to come and how to stay away in the right distances at the same time.

    Grief…the growth accelerator…

  • Lou A

    As I have recently lost my mother. One whom I care for 39 years after my father’s passing, I have that deep grief. For over 61+ years she was the only women in my life. I watched and cared for her for those 39 years because I promised my father that I would. She passed in her sleep, no sickness was present, she didn’t like doctors, she just went to bed and she passed in her home 3 of us sleeping within 20 feet. She was 95 years old. Her passing is said to be a blessing, but my grief runs long and deep. The blanket of grief is never taken off. You gain many of those blankets over the years and they never drop away. But time does help. It allows you to bear the burden of the weight of those blankets. To continue life as the people whom you lost would have wanted you to live. You shed a tear and remember as the years pass. The grief is always there but time allows you to bear the weight. And life does go on and shedding a tear is OK.