About the Author

Aliza Latta is a Canadian writer, journalist, and artist, who is a huge fan of telling stories. She writes about faith and young adulthood on her blog alizalatta.com, and is the author of the novel Come Find Me, Sage Parker. Find her on Instagram as @alizalatta.

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  1. Aliza,
    Just beautiful, and I know Tat is smiling (and laughing and crying) over your post tribute. Isn’t that just like God to show up and give us a sign just when our hearts are about to break or quit? I call those “God-winks”. “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:4. With all that God has going on he is always remembering us. Furthermore, He doesn’t just remember, He draws close to comfort us as only He can. What a beautiful testimony of God’s tender heart toward His children. Praying for you in your continuing grief…
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

      • Aliza, god wink, i was having a sad kinda day, went into my emails and found god has not forgotten you, i read it twice. I ask god why? Is my life this way, at age 57 my battle the storm, with family issues is awful. I thought my older years would be ice cream, and sprinkles, at least this is what i thought, to accept the issues is hard on my heart. I know storms don’t last forever, but this family storm is so sad.

        • I am so sorry, Maria. I keep trying to hold tight to Jesus in the midst of my whirlwinds. But a storm never feels like ice cream and sprinkles does it? Much love to you today.

    • Thank you Aliza for sharing from your heart how God reminded He is there for you when you are still grieving the loss of a very special friend. I had tears rolling down my face when I read at the end “And that goes for you too. When your heart is heavier than an elephant, worn down by grief and strife, I want you to know: God has not forgotten you. He is right here, right beside you — perhaps even sending lanterns to light your way home.” We have a 14 yr. old granddaughter who is anorexia and will be going to her 3rd facility soon. Our heart is very heavy, haven’t ever felt like this before, but we know God is still there for us too. Thank you again for your timely writing of this. I know it has ministered to many.

      • Thank you Aliza for your reply and for your prayers for Mackenzie, they mean so much. She’s had months of therapy, psychiatrist and nutritionist appts and nothing seems to break through to her. She needs a miracle.

  2. Oh wow, how cool is that?! I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes, not even personally knowing you or your dear friend, Tat. God is a God who sees us and loves us, especially in the depths of our sorrows. I lost my dad very suddenly and unexpectedly 10 years ago to a heart attack, a month after I got married. While that was one of the darkest times in my life, God has sent me so many striking signs like this that He and he (my dad) are with me. Blessings and love to you and your hurting heart, Aliza.
    Anne

  3. Oh, so lovely, and perfectly timed for me… of course, He knew.
    A dear mentor and friend’s birthday passed this week. She’s been celebrating her birthdays in heaven for over a decade, but I still miss her. And I also know that my lantern shines and floats today largely because of her impact on my life.
    And yours is burning bright, Aliza.
    We are blessed.

  4. Thank you for sharing the story of God’s beautiful love-gift to you. I have experienced similar things, and know, like you, that He sees and cares for us in very personal ways sometimes. How humbling!

  5. Beautiful, Simply Beautiful…May you continue to feel God’s loving comfort and presence.

  6. What a beautiful devotion (that left my heart crying)! I am so sorry for your loss and I pray God will continue to heal your heart and pain and show you his love in tangible ways. Lord, help us to remember in our pain and grief you are still sovereign and you are with us, always.

  7. Aliza, I’m so sorry about your friend Tat. I’m sure she was there with you and your friends with the lanterns. I lost my mom almost 15 years ago. I got a call in the wee early morning hours. “You need to get here quick! Your mom is being taken to the hospital.” I lived 90 miles away from my parents. Needless to say I was speeding down the highway, way to fast to be safe. Then right in front of me….the most brightest falling star. It trailed blue light and lasted for about 10 seconds. Mom’s favorite color was blue. I heard mom’s voice in my head, “slow down. I’m home.” My foot lifted off the gas pedal. I was filled with amazing peace. God is always with us. Yes, he is. It still fills me with wonder every time I think about it. May He help you find peace and understanding. Blessings.

  8. Oh Aliza, my heart aches for your loss! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful post! God’s well-timed appearances in our lives never ceases to amaze me.

  9. What a gift and each breath seeing the sunrise this morning and reading this is a gift. Thank you and tender tough to you for your loss blessings

  10. Oh Aliza..I know your pain so well. Grief is never ending and will continue as along as we love that person. Time doesn’t change anything. I am right there with you, praying for your heart to hold onto those memories and know that she is watching over you. Listen to her voice when you are feeling alone. I too had experience the loss of my best friend and had spoken of this. Sometimes I feel as if that is all I talk about. It is immense pain of knowing that the future will no longer include them and that is hardest to bear. As hard as it is, know that your friend Tat would want you to keep moving forward with this life and be reminded of her love for life, love for your friendship. May you feel her presences today and shine bright on others like the lanterns she so love. By doing this, you are honoring her. Thank you for sharing this message. I know it wasn’t easy to do.

  11. Aliza…That’s so beautiful. I want to share what we do in memory of my grandson Nevan passing away. We have quart jars with those little strings of battery operated lights in them. We hang them in the trees in his memory. This year it was 20 jars. As that’s how old he would of been. Every year Gods light also shines down on us. Thankyou for sharing your story.

    • Valerie, I absolutely love this! What a gorgeous way to remember him. Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I can just imagine the beauty of those lit up jars.

  12. So sorry for your loss! God is always with us. I love the ways he shows each of us. Thank you for sharing!

  13. You touched my heart with letting me know that Our God cares for each of us! I lost my dear Mother soon to be a year & I wonder did I do enough for her? She was 86 when she went home to Jesus! Now I’m the old woman & just yesterday my life was spared while driving on the freeway! An aluminum ladder was laying in the lane & I was driving at a high rate of speed. I miraculously was able to swerve & miss it & other cars! I guess it wasn’t my time! My God & just maybe my mom were watching over me❤️

  14. thankyou for that …God is always there in our grief. he knows our pain. I love how he showed you he is there with you & you know he’s holding tat too.

    • Aliza, god wink, i was having a sad kinda day, went into my emails and found god has not forgotten you, i read it twice. I ask god why? Is my life this way, at age 57 my battle the storm, with family issues is awful. I thought my older years would be ice cream, and sprinkles, at least this is what i thought, to accept the issues is hard on my heart. I know storms don’t last forever, but this family storm is so sad.

  15. Dear Aliza,
    Such a tender offering. Xoxo I lost my mom to cancer when I was just 10 years old. This month, August is both her passing and her birthday.She died on her birthday. Mom loved the ocean as do I. When I get to go, I run as fast as I can through the hot sand, arms wide open embracing her love that I feel. It’s healing isn’t it to embrace those special memories of our loved ones who have gone home. Thank you Eliza for your timely post. Dee

  16. Aliza,
    Your words are a blessing, and I am deeply sorry for your loss.
    Blessings to all,
    Penny

  17. Knowing God sees us individually is such a powerful thing. It provides comfort when circumstances happen that we don’t understand. Your post is a beautiful tribute to a friend and encouragement for others. I am going through a difficult divorce, difficult because I didn’t want it and my life is filled with unexpected change. In the middle of it, I feel God’s tenderness, I see him actively involved in my life. Look up. Speak to him. He is a good, good father.

    • Nancy, I am sorry to hear of the pain you’re feeling. But I love – so much – how you’re seeing and feeling God’s tenderness and how personal he is to each one of us. xo

  18. I am reading this with tears streaming down my cheeks. A little over a month ago my friend was killed in an unexpected domestic violence incident. Shot by her estranged husband and I am still reeling. I am trying to find joy in my life, my children, my husband. But the grief hits me out of nowhere and I don’t know how to breathe at times. I know God is there but sometimes He seems so far away.

  19. We can ask why to so many questions to so many things. But your Friend you might not have her on this earth anymore. The person she was to Marry might not have her either. But I look at things this way. We have not lost all. Maybe yes on earth. But we have good memories of time spent with the person we knew on earth. If saved we will see them again in Glory with Jesus. No matter how they died. Yes we will miss them on earth. Miss no seeing them in person hearing their voice. But we can still talk about them. Look at photographs of them. Laugh at the silly thing that they did when around. As I believe they want us to do that. Not be sad but talk about happy times we all had together. Plus if saved about the day we see them again with a bran new body if died like your friend in car accident or of a sickness. What a day that will be. Because that day we see them and be able to give them a big big Hug. I look forward to doing that with my loved ones that are in Glory that are saved. Yes I will always miss them while am earth. But this helps me get over the graving for them. (On their Birthday’s and when they left earth to go to be with Jesus I do cry as I do say Jesus you have them now which is nice but I would have like them for a little longer) But I would not ask Jesus if was possible to have them back to earth. As I know they are my loved one that are in Heaven friends and all are happy in Heaven waiting for me to join them one day where we be together for ever. So God has not for Forgotten You or Me in This. Dawn Ferguson-Little

  20. Dear Aliza,
    Beautiful post! God in His goodness always shows up when we need him the most, giving us the comfort we desire.
    Praying for you in your grief.

    Blessings, Sandy

  21. Dear wonderful Aliza! What a beautiful tribute to your beloved friend Tat — and also a glistening reminder that the Lord is the God Who sees us. On a week when I needed that assurance, thank you for sharing such a gorgeous message of hope and love. You’ve blessed many — myself included. I’m grateful for you, dear friend. All for Christ, Patricia

  22. Oh, Aliza. I don’t even feel like any words I can type would be the right response. I’m heartsick with you for your loss. And also awestruck at God’s love in the midst of it. Love you, friend.

  23. I am amazed by and absolutely adore the way God does these precious things for his children! Thank you for sharing your miracle moment. Many years ago, my fiance passed away 6 months before we were to be married. Several weeks later, God gave me an incident with computer technology (my fiance was so good with this) miraculously working for me when I had no clue what to do to fix it, and I was so sad and angry that my fiance wasn’t there for me to depend on. It was so beautiful. Several years later, God sent the most radiant shooting star sailing across the night sky at the moment that my mom entered Heaven. That was how I knew she had made it safely home. This sign was from a book she read to me when I was a child. It was and still is one of my favorite stories. I love to remember times like this when the Lord’s presence was clearly tangible in my life, and I enjoy hearing how others have had these blessings as well. Thank you again for sharing! I hope the guy that Tat was engaged to has had his own God moments and is at peace with how things are turning out for him.

  24. Thank you, Aliza, the timing could not be better and I’m so sorry for your loss. Are we all grieving something right now? I feel that myself and so many friends (who sadly all live in different place and different from where I am) are also talking about loneliness. My marriage has been ended now for awhile and the closeness I’ve become accustomed to with my husband, my friend will end for good over the next few weeks. I know it’s healthier for both of us (so of course different than the sudden death of a dear friend) but sometimes the idea of being in a new life that doesn’t include the sight of him everyday grips me so hard and I feel like I may not be able to take another breathe and like I may never stop crying and I had one of those days yesterday and it’s not like I specifically felt forgotten by God but alone in our house that is about to be someone else’s house I did feel left behind and wondering if anything would ever feel really good again. I’m so sorry that you feel this kind of deep pain and emotion and how amazing and wonderful for you to see a lantern in the sky and know that God hold you and your beautiful friend in His hands. Thank you for reminding me that even in my grief and pain God has not forgotten me 🙂

    • Kimberly, loneliness is a pain of the heart, my grown children (in 20,s) have forgotten me, it breaks my heart, i thought we would love each other for every. That’s what is to happen right? Just like marriage is to be forever, right? But during this painful season ive been trust, the lord a lot more with life’s out-comes. Not my will but gods will, surrender, accept the out- come , acceptance is hard for me. Praying for you in this difficult season.

      • Hi Maria, I’m so sorry about your children and your are right, draw closer to God and feel His presence and love and know that you are not alone. I’m praying that the situation with your children will change; don’t give up as long as we are here there is always hope for situations to change. In the meantime, enjoy yourself and surround yourself with people who do want to spend time with you and enjoy your company and don’t forget to enjoy your own company! Take care!

  25. Aliza,

    Such a beautiful & gracious way to memorialize your friend. You had me crying & laughing. So sorry for the loss of your beloved friend Tat. We all have why questions. Why does God let some live a long time yet take others so soon? In the midst of trials, sorrows & heavy hearts God is there walking beside us. He understands our pain & anguish. He has felt all this Himself. When we cry to God He sends special reminders or “God Winks” our way to let us know that He sees us. We may feel forgotten, but God never ever forgets & He sees us. Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

    Blessings 🙂

  26. Such a beautiful post. I don’t know you or your friend was was so moved by it that I have tears in my eyes and I also love that scene in tangled with the lanterns. I pray that you will come to peace and remember the wonderful times with your dear friend. Even in tones of despair and sadness, God always manages to show us he is there for us. God bless!