About the Author

Dorina is a multicultural speaker, author, Bible teacher, foodie, mentor, and trail runner. Her devotional, Walk, Run, Soar, will be released from Bethany House in September 2020. She helps people navigate grief and chase after God's glory. Dorina and her husband Shawn are raising three brave girls in Central California.

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  1. Celebration lives alongside lament, and I appreciate your vulnerable sharing here that this learning process is neither easy nor fun. But we do learn to live our way toward joy even.

  2. Dorina,
    Our family had a very rough 2 1\2 years. It started one Thanksgiving with the death of my niece, complications with her MS and diabetes. Next Thanksgiving was my sister, cancer diagnosed and her death within a week. That same season, right after New Years, my mom’s heart gave out. A few months later, a close friend of the family passed away. Another few months later, at Thanksgiving my nephew passed away, leaving a wife and 5 children. I lost my father 3 months later, and another sister to cancer 1 week after my dad died. This was 12 years ago. I don’t have the words to describe this period of time. It was almost like everyone was on auto pilot. My dad was a Christian minister and we were raised in the church, but nothing can prepare you for this much loss in that short amount of time. I planned, or helped plan, most all of the funerals. This is not a subject matter that I ever thought I would be familiar with and have the knowledge for, but it was all those years ago. Time has eased the severity of our pain because of our Faith. We know one glorious day, we will all be united with our loved ones. I am the youngest of five siblings. My sister lives with us due to health issues. My brother will be here for Thanksgiving. We celebrate holidays together. It has gotten easier, but there still is a big block of time that no one wants to ever repeat. Thanksgiving is held at my house every year. We have cousins that are very close, but some of my nieces and nephews have gone their own way. That part makes me sad, but they will always be family and welcomed here. We still reminisce about all the good times we had at mom and dad’s house, but we make new memories now as well. God is good! Life does move on, and I’ve grown alot –both mentally and physically — since then. Give Thanks to God this holiday! He makes all things new and never leaves us alone!

  3. Thank you. Grief can sometimes be so overwhelming. I think allowing our grief to come alongside by sharing special memories is a wonderful idea.

  4. I needed to hear this today. Sometimes I feel I must be the only one dreading the approaching holidays. Losing your Momma in December,my Daddy the day before Thanksgiving, Brother and Husband,plus many more family members, it’s just hard to prepare myself for the holidays. Being a widow and living alone makes it feel even more intense. But… I will embrace many happy memories and Thank my Savior for each of those that have gone home and will be waiting for me at the gates of Glory when God calls me home !! Thank you for this reminder and God’s Word !! God bless you all !!!

  5. Such a beautiful picture of the brave places you can go with grief. Blessing to see how your grief and joy weave together in your life and the feelings are given honest room to be. Thank you for sharing from your heart.

  6. Dorina,

    There is no time line for grief. Everyone grieves differently. The holidays don’t make it any easier. You see all the families smiling having a good time yet you still feel the loss of your loved ones. The holidays are a time to be with family & friends. It is a time to slow down & give thanks for the bountiful harvest God has blessed you with. At the same time you don’t have to “fake it” for everyone. Just be yourself. If a memory arises & you start to cry-let it out. Talk about that memory with others. It is freeing & healing. Make new memories with those around you. God knows how you feel. He understands better than we know. Embrace pain with joy, bitter with sweet. Share memories of your loved one-laugh & cry. Let the emotions come out. It is very healing. You will enjoy the abundant life God came to give us.

    Blessings 🙂

  7. Dear Dorina,
    Thank you for bearing your heart so that many others may realize they are not alone in their grief.
    Reading your articles on Instagram I see you mentioning Ericlee a lot. I realize the two of you were very close in a God-given relationship. However, you are remarried to what appears to be a very gracious and loving man. Praise the Lord for that. My question is, how does your new husband deal with your many references to your late husband? Does it cause conflict in your relationship? How do you bring a balance to your relationship?

    • Hi Jim, Thanks for reaching out! My new husband Shawn was one of Ericlee’s best friends so he remembers and grieves with us as well. That’s where the sweet grace lies. When I write about grief to minister to others, it does not cause conflict at all. In fact, Shawn has been one of my biggest supporters and champions my writing. Of course, I’m also living this new chapter with him too. The joy and pain are always dancing together in that way.