Read an Excerpt
Your Journey Through Grief
Losing someone you love through death is painful and personal. You soon learn that grief can't be confined to a method, time frame, or event; it's a process. Grief is an unpredictable, solitary, and unforgettable experience, one that can't be healed in a moment, a month, or even a lifetime. Grief ebbs and flows, like the swelling waves of an ocean. One moment we feel engulfed by a wave of sorrow. The next we are lifted by waves of hope and acceptance. Grief is an irregular tide that often takes us by surprise.
How you respond to it determines the quality and direction of your life. You can choose to allow it to drown you emotionally, or you can allow loss to enlarge your soul. As difficult as it is to lose a loved one, grief can deepen you as a person and increase your empathy and your trust in God. Loss can open your eyes to see the same world from a different viewpoint . . . with new scenery. In that sense, grief is a journey.
Whether you've recently suffered loss and are beginning your grief journey, are several years into your journey, or are somewhere in between, a void will always exist in your life from losing your loved one. Each season of your life may find you blazing a new trail as you discover a different dimension of your loss. And just when you think your journey through grief has finally ended, you see a fork in the road and find yourself trudging down a familiar path that you've walked before.
Grieving the Loss of a Loved One gives you permission to be who you are and where you are in your journey. Take a moment to glance at the table of contents. You may want to use it as your compass, helping you to find the section of the book that best fits your need each day. Or you may want to read the book straight through, one devotional per day. However you use the book, let it help you wherever you are on the journey.
If you need to cry, weep with all your heart.
If you need to vent, tell God the whole truth about how you're feeling.
If you're ready to celebrate, do it with gusto.
My hope is that you will adopt Grieving the Loss of a Loved One as a personal companion. Think of it as a good friend with whom you can share laughs, tears, dreams, and your innermost thoughts. Whether you read this devotional guide daily or as the need arises, highlight it, dog-ear it, write in it. My prayer is that it will be a tool to guide you to a deeper understanding of who God is.
I pray the stories that follow will comfort your soul and give you courage to press on in your journey. What I have written has grown out of my personal experience of losing my infant son and three children through miscarriages; being married to a man who lost both of his parents as a child; and encountering life losses through my parents' divorce, cross-country moves, infertility, adoption, and career transitions.
I believe that God, who suffered the loss of His only Son, understands our worst pain and our darkest thoughts. Wherever you are on the journey through grief, God wants not only to speak to you but also to draw near. I hope the stories, Scripture, prayers, and the opportunity to record your own thoughts, questions, and prayers in the journal section will help to bring healing and a closer relationship with the one who loves you.
I am convinced that we sometimes go through difficult experiences so we can encourage others who will later endure similar hardships. As a matter of fact, this book wouldn't have been possible without the men, women, and children who shared their personal insights and stories. I have written this book not as an expert, not as someone who has arrived, but as a fellow griever, still on the journey. Behind the pages of Grieving the Loss of a Loved One is a person who can relate to at least some of what you are experiencing. And behind that person is a faithful God.