About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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  1. Mary,
    There is no timeline on grief. My dad passed away eight years ago. I will catch myself saying something he would say and before you know it my eyes are swollen with tears. For me, I know it’s best if I don’t fight it and just let the tears flow. There is a catharsis in letting our God-given emotions do their job. God gave us those for a reason – to be used. Isn’t it just like HIm to promise to draw near when we are brokenhearted and the tears are flowing?! Thanks for the reminder to go easy on ourselves and draw near to Him.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev…I just wanted to say “Thank You” for all the ways you had encouraged me. You may not remember me but I will never forget the ways you have shown kindness and support and encouragement to my soul. Thanking God for You…

      • Maylee,
        Thank you so much for your kind words…I was just reading today’s (in)courage devotion and was wondering if I really make a difference in people’s lives?? Then, I read your sweet comment that just made my day! I am lifting you in prayer right now. Thanks for making a difference in my life! We all need and can use kindness and encouragement…
        Blessings,
        Bev xx

    • Bev, I love how you described our emotions as “God-given.” So many times, I think we feel like we need to hide our emotions, but you’re so right. God gave them to us and for a reason.

  2. When I remember that Jesus “has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows,” the process of mourning any loss seems less solitary and more of journey alongside a Friend who listens and deeply understands. And while our pink-balloon outbursts are a surprise to us, he folds them into our learning and loving as part of his hidden curriculum.
    Thank you, Mary, for so many beautiful and peaceful word pictures here.

  3. God is with us at all times. Grief is not nice. I still cry over my Mum. I often wish Heaven had phone so I could hear her voice one more time if that is where she is. I be doing something then just think of her and say to myself what would My Mum say or do. I wish she was here I have still so much to tell her. I still feel the tear fall down my cheek. Especially when I am not well no hugs seems to make you feel better expect your Mum’s. If you had that kind of Mum. No matter what age you were. I am glad for theses reading and to be saved as without Jesus and Christian sister’s like you with reading like this to help I never be where I am and never got over my Mums passing. Yes I will always miss her. But I hope to see her Glory one day. I don’t know. As I am the only saved in my Family apart from my Husband. I did pray for her. I still pray for the rest of my Family. Love Dawn God Bless

  4. No expiration date on grief….so, so true. Thank you for this thoughtful post, Mary. In a few weeks it will have been 27 years since my daughter was born. She lived 4 short days. Out of the blue the grief hits me and I cry a river.

    This post is so perfect.

    • Mary. A mother never forgets. My daughter is the same age. But she has gone down the wrong path. Doesn’t speak to me. She is with the wrong people. So its like she is dead.

  5. Mary, thanks for sharing this message of grief. It truly does not end and may not end at all. For me I have learned in the last 16 months that grief is forever because it is all the love you had for the person and now that the person is gone, there’s no where else to place this love except through grieving. There is no time limit on it and I will admit, I have really good days where I feel I can almost get through anything and then I make that turn around the corner and memories of her come rushing through and I am running to hide the tears that cannot stop flowing. It will take my lifetime to get over this loss and I know it will somewhat soften over the years. For now, I know she is saving me a seat in Heaven and feasting at the table with our Awesome Lord. I want to encourage all those who are grieving that we must find joy through this and know that the person who we are grieving for certainly would want us to remember them with love and not tears of sorrow for one day we will see them once again. A great shout out to Bev @Walking Well with God. She had helped me in more ways than she know. Thank you so much Bev for your encouraging words and support.

  6. Amen…..after my dad died I sailed through his birthday, I thought it would be harder than it was but was surprised by the depth of grief on my birthday. I eventually realized it was because for him it was a special day because I was special to him and now the world had one fewer people who thot that day was such an important one. It does sneak up on you in the oddest places, like the hummingbird feeder aisle if you dad loved to feed the hummingbirds. I kind of think grief is like ocean waves, they ebb and flow and sometimes they are big and stormy, other times almost calm.

  7. Thank you Mary for the thought that grief has no rules or timeline to follow. It has been 12 years since my husband left me with a 3 year old and a 4 month old baby. He is involved in their lives an has become a Christian about 3 years ago. I assumed when he became a Christian we would be restored, which is what I have been praying for for 12 years. It hasn’t happened & I believe he is now seeing the same woman again whom he left me for. I am grieving all over again. And luring our my heart to God to restore our relationship! Thank you for letting me to continue to grieve even after 12 years.

    • Dawn your husband has no respect for you .you are in love with him but god loves you and you deserve so much more than the scrapes. My children treat me with disrespect its hard to love when love hurts. 1peter5:7

  8. This is so very true!!! My Daddy (I always called him Daddy, still do, why change now??) passed away 23 years ago. I still have days when I miss him so much I cry. However, I know Where he is, and that I’l see him again someday. It’s true that there’s no time line, and everyone is different. God will see us through, and makes things easier for us. Most days, I can remember Daddy and just be thankful I had him for as long as I did. Some people don’t have near as long.

  9. Thank you for displaying your strong FAITH in the Lord, your compassion, and for your encouragement to draw near to God. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…”James 4:8 it’s one of my favorites. I also loved that you mentioned compassion and time, thinking Ecclesiastics. I’m excited to see mother in heaven. Following a time of grief, I now feel joy when I pass by her picture in the hallway. I’m encouraged by your strength this morning. Thank you.

  10. Mary, thank you for this post. My mom passed away 4 years ago. Mothers day is still difficult although having a daughter who wanted to celebrate me on that first mothers day without my mom,got me through it. This year my daughter graduated from college on Mother’s day weekend,and I could feel my mom’s pride and love for her only grandchild. I’m lucky that I get to speak about my mom a lot. My book is based on her surviving atomic bombing of Hiroshima,so I speak a lot at schools. I do get a little emotional when I speak about her. But for some reason last week it hit me much harder. Having your post will help me when it happens again. God Bless.❤

  11. Thank you for this, I feel like I’ve been going thru this now even tho I thought I wasn’t going to. Went to a funeral last week for a lady who was like a momma to me, and have been down ever since. Thank you for the reminder that God is close to us and gracious.

  12. Thank you for this. My mom passed away Nov 14, 2018. It still hurts so bad. She was 97 and I know that she is now at peace and had a full wonderful life, but I miss her so. Praise God that Jesus has won the final victory over death and one day we shall be together again. God will wipe all tears from our lives.

  13. I lost my husband almost a year ago and it has been a long journey without him. Thank God for my family and people like you that bring me encouragement. Bless each one of you! Some day we will meet in heaven! Kay

  14. Mary,

    Great analogy about a balloon popping suddenly & grief. I have a neighbor who has lost her only two children. She lives alone. While it has been 5 years since the oldest died she still mourns him. Every now & then she will cry. I tell her one day she will see them both again. That’s t he thing about grief. It doesn’t take a holiday. It can pop up suddenly. Certain songs, movies, or pictures can conjure up memories good & bad.-happy & sad. As Christians we have the promise that one day we will see our loved ones again. We can rest assured that Jesus is with us in our brokenness. He understands the pain & anguish. The world will say “get over it”. There is no magical formula for how long grief can take. There is no one way to grieve either. Go ahead & grieve the job loss, relationship broken, death. Cry a river when that song or movie plays. Let God help you heal your pain.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Grief doesn’t take a holiday – so true, Beth! I’m so sad to hear about your neighbor’s loss; I can only imagine how many “balloons” bring back her grief.

  15. I just read yesterday how tears are healing. Stuffing causes stress and health problems, but tears heal. So glad youre letting them flow when needed.