About the Author

Deidra is a national speaker and the author of Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are, and One: Unity in a Divided World. Follow Deidra on Instagram @deidrariggs

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  1. How precious and deep your love for your Nano. Thank you for reminding me that grief is part of the process. Thank you for sharing such an intimate truth.

  2. Never think for a moment that God doesn’t use the timing of these posts to minister healing. Our church is mourning the loss of a family member today. These words ministered to me”Our cries set us free and make space for the sweet, sweet ministry of the Spirit of God who is, himself, Love. And so, we are invited to mourn with those who mourn.” Thank you Deidra Riggs an Incourage for all that you do and for being a vessel that ministers through.

  3. Deidra,
    Sharing in your grief as you process the passing of your dear, sweet, Nano. I admit sometimes it bothers me that when people discuss someone who has lost someone very close to them, they say things like, “Well, she’s really holding up well,” or “She’s being very brave.” People admired Jackie Kennedy for her stoicism at her husband’s funeral. Where do we get this notion that holding up well and not showing our emotions is something good? Granted, some people aren’t comfortable showing emotion around others, but for some of us who wear our emotions on our sleeve, I don’t want someone telling me to suck it up when I’ve lost someone I dearly love. When my dad passed. I knew he was with Jesus. I knew he was out of pain. I knew he was in a better place, but I MISSED HIM. I believe that God gave us these emotions to be used. Tears were created for a purpose. What did Jesus do at the grave site of Lazarus ….He didn’t spout scripture or cliche phrases…no He wept. He held his friends and he lamented with them. I think there is a reason an entire book of the Bible is devoted to Lamentations. Help us Lord, to close our mouths, extend our arms in hugs and mourn with those who mourn. Let us encourage the grieving to share their grief and pain. Just as you ushered Nano onto Heaven, let us help those left behind…let us help usher them through grief into eventual healing. God gave us those tears….let’s let them flow for ourselves and for others….wonderful post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Good morning
      Thanks for sharing I to lost my mother and the peace that gives my mom is in heaven
      Knowing soon we will see her and once in
      A while I cry cause I miss her and knowing
      She is in a better place where there is no
      More Pain or suffering

      S

  4. I am in utter awe that this hit my inbox this morning. I just left the hospital last night. My husband is there now with his three sisters. Their mom will most likely pass away in the next few hours if she has not already. We have spent the past three days doing the exact same thing….sitting in a tiny room, saying goodbye, sharing sweet stories of what an amazing woman she is. InCourage devotions always seem to speak to me and come at just the right time, but the timing of this is unbelievable. Our God is so big, so good, and He knows just what we need. I am so thankful for His provisions and His perfect timing. Thank for this sweet encouragent.

    • Hugs and love, Adrienne, to you and all whose hearts are heavy with grief today. Praying that you will find the arms of the Father holding you in sweet comfort.

  5. Yesterday in the quiet of my den, I had a time of grieving and I wailed from loss, hurt, loneliness, disappointment. It seemed the tears would never end and at times I could barely breathed. My only support that day was my little cat Bella who just sat on the couch next to me looking at me. When the heaviness lifted and the tears came to and end, she gently climbed onto my lap, laid her head on my chest and looked up at me as if to say, “you are going to be okay.” Then that sweet, sweet spirit of our Lord entered the room and He held me and reminded me that I am loved, not forgotten and everything was under control. He had it all under control. I just rested in His wonderful love. It is good to lament from time to time. It is a gift. I too was with my dad when he passed and I remember such a sweet spirit filing the room when he passed. It as a gift to be there holding his hand. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

  6. This is such a poignant post. Thank you, Deidra. I have often wished I could see better examples of individual and collective mourning. I believe it is much needed in our families and communities. Thank you for sharing this touching experience and your encouragement to mourn together.

  7. Dear Deidra,
    Thank you so much for sharing so well your situation of such deep love and deep grief for Nano with us. It brought tears to my eyes. Three years ago my husband and I were alone with my Dad as he was ushered into the LORD’s presence. I know well all those emotions. And I too, felt so blessed to be with him in the last hour and be able to hold his hand, thank him, pray with him and read Scripture and hymns to him. It was truly an unbelievable gift from the LORD, that I remember as such a very precious memory, thanks to the LORD’s gracious, loving timing.
    And just this week I was lamenting loudly with such horrific grief about my grandchildren’s plight. So such grief can also come for those still living, and but there is little solace for this, as such terrible things continue. I pray that very soon my grief will turn to joy concerning them.
    Thank you for sharing.

  8. You described to a t the pain I felt and the way I mourned when we lost my mother-in–law. What a beautiful reminder of how Jesus meets us in our grief. Thank you.

  9. Wow what a beautiful and real experience. I had tears running down my face as I read this (healing tears!). I think this voice of “real” is totally needed right now. In that vein I would like to encourage those who were not privileged to be there when loved ones passed. My mum died at home, she had not been on her own for even a minute for days. She went when she was left alone for 1/2hr. I totally believe she wanted to meet her maker on her own. She had the most beautiful smile starting on her face and we had so much peace in our house and hearts. Please don’t anyone feel guilty that they weren’t there. We each have our own paths and that is good.
    Thank you so much for sharing this today it has really blessed me to read your experience I felt so much love through your words.

    • Dear Anna,
      I completely agree with you, we each have our own path, and the LORD does not always have us there for whatever reason only known to HIM, but so important to believe…as you say, “We each have our own paths and that is good.” Although I was with my Dad at his passing, I was not with my Mom just the year before. But the LORD gave us a beautiful & amazing time together alone, the last time we were together, and I thank HIM for that! And I have peace from the LORD about both situations HE brought about. The utmost important thing is that I know they are with the LORD; and not everyone has that privilege.

  10. I was blessed to be by my father’s side when he left this world amost 14 years ago. There is no doubt that the Lord was speaking through me when I softly told my father that it was okay “to let go”; knowing that God would be lovingly waiting for him with open arms. The passing of my father’s soul to the Father above remains one of the most sacred moments of my life. Thank you, Deidre, for reminding me of its blessing.

  11. Thank you for these words and the permission to weep, to grieve, to lament. I am losing my mom to Alzheimer’s. Just the other night my 10 year old daughter and I brought dinner and ice cream to my parents home to celebrate mom’s birthday. There were short moments of time that night when everything felt normal again. My daughter and her grandpa laughed in the living room as they played a silly game. I cleaned up the kitchen, and mom did her best to help. There were glimpses of my sweet mom the way she used to be. My heart soared for a few moments. And then I had to excuse myself to the bathroom and shut the door as silent tears started to flow. I couldn’t stop them. But I couldn’t show them either as I’m trying so hard to be strong, to take care of my family. I know this disease will only get worse and I will continue to lose more of my mom. But the tears, which have come in stages since this disease started, are ok. And thank you for showing me they’re ok even in front of others. Bless you and your family!

  12. Even our Lord lamented. He grieved honestly openly. It always reminds me though about living in love. Putting people first. Expanding that circle we doggedly call ” family.” Mother Theresa once said if we did did just that there would be no human isolation. Living lovingly and meaningfully sounds simple but it’s far easier for us to be busy than to make time to live lovingly. It’s not just an American thing it has spread far beyond these borders. God first then people my mom showed me and taught me. She went to be with Him far too early but hers was a simple, quiet and loving life well lived. Hers even though she died young was a life of few regrets. Grief is sweeter when we lose love but let’s live each day treating each other with love so it’s all said during living.
    Thank you for sharing a vulnerable time. Nano has left that legacy of love, a life well lived!

  13. Deidre,
    Thank-you for sharing your very touching post. What a blessing your Mother in law was, I am sorry for your loss.

    Hope you all have a blessed day,

    Penny

  14. ((Hug)) Thank you for sharing “Nano” with us, Deidra. I know that four years doesn’t make the loss any less–I’m sorry for your loss. ((God bless))

  15. What a beautiful story of Nano’s homegoing. It is a blessing to have family gathered as opposed to some that end up arguing and worried about inheritences, I’ve see that happen. I ‘ve seen fear and grief. Grief and lamenting are normal, but don’t hold onto that hold the good memories instead.

  16. In our hurry-up-and-move-on-already world we need this reminder that it’s ok to feel all the pain and cry all the tears. My mum is in a slow decline and every time I visit, I leave the nursing home with the same heaviness and feeling of loss, knowing that there’s no happy ending for her on this planet. Lamentation opens the way for me to “recall to mind” the Lord’s mercies and to “have hope” that His compassion and mercy will not fail — even though mine fail regularly.

  17. Deidra,

    So sorry for the loss of Nano. Psalm 56:8 says: You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book. God collects our tears in a bottle. He knows our sorrow. People don’t want clichés about their loved ones being in a better place. They want your compassion & understanding. They want to cry on your shoulder. It doesn’t have to be just the loss aa loved one-we can lament loss of job, house, pet, etc. Anything one loses can be lamented. As Bev pointed out God put a whole book in the Bible Lamentations. He expects us to lament to Him.

    Last January my dad’s dementia got bad enough he was hospitalized. During that month I lamented to God a lot. My heart cried to Him often. Please take him now-don’t leave him like this! Why Lord can others die and he still live? What must we learn. I learned to trust God more and was allowed to see a miracle.

    Blessings 🙂

  18. I love how you portray grief and crying as positive. So often we are uncomfortable with our own cries or the crying of another when sometimes we just need to sit and cry together. Because like you said, it ushers in the sweet ministering of the spirit and the healing of our heart.

  19. What a beautiful, tender post! A soul that loves leaving the body fills the space with that love. Never should we hold back our grief. When my parents died I knew they were in heaven, no doubt, but I wailed for hours. I still, years later, have times of grief. Though not wailing, tears still can emerge from a memory. And having lost two babies, I well know that grief lasts till we meet in heaven. Thank you for sharing.