Grief and Faith: The Relationship Between Grief and Belief
Understanding Grief : Litsa Williams/
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I have had several people tell me recently that well-intentioned friends and pastors have thrown a little quip at them when they are grieving, aimed at helping them ‘move on.’
“Those who believe need not grieve.”
Needless to say, they have been feeling some frustration and conflict about this comment. I was considering what the source of this anecdote might be, and it seems it could be connected to the Bible passage 1 Thessalonians 4:13:
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.”
In the Qu’ran we find the similar passage:
“Those who have attained to faith, as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians—all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds—shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.”
Regardless of where this phrase came from, its oversimplification of grief and faith can undoubtedly cause pain to grievers and, hence, is worth a post.
Religion and spirituality are complex but important topics in the wake of a loss. Religion can be an incredible comfort in times of loss. But losses can also cause us to question our faith, as we struggle to make sense of the death. And, in cases like the quote above, grief can confuse our feelings about our faith… and our faith can confuse feelings about our grief.
(There’s a separate discussion to be had about those who grieve without belief in God or an afterlife, but that is a post for another day!)
I have absolutely no doubt that—in nearly every case the expression ‘Those who believe need not grieve’ is uttered—it is with the best of intentions. Just like, “He’s in a better place” or “It’s all part of God’s plan,” these platitudes are shared with the hope that they will bring comfort to the griever.
What becomes complicated is when one internalizes these quotes and starts to feel that the depth of their grief is somehow reflective of their faith. This can leave believers questioning why they are still feeling the pain of grief when someone they love is now with God.
Grief is our natural reaction to a loss. We feel a deep and aching pain when someone we love is no longer with us. When someone we love is gone, we feel the dozens of emotions that come with grief: sadness, anger, guilt, fear, loneliness, blame, and more than I can possibly list. Though faith that someone is in a better place or that you will see them again can be a comfort, this does not remove the pain that the person is gone. It does not change the trauma that can come from watching someone suffer from a prolonged or painful illness. This does not eliminate the anger, blame, guilt, regret, or countless other feelings that can come up following a death.
It is not that your grief and your faith should be separate. It’s that you must remember that the depth of your grief does not imply a loss of faith. The problem with the statement “Those who believe need not grieve” is that one is made to feel that the reverse must be true: Those who do grieve do not believe. What we are here to say, for all of you who have felt that their faith should be enough to eliminate their grief is this:
Experiencing grief DOES NOT indicate a loss of faith.
Let me say it one more time: Experiencing grief DOES NOT indicate a loss of faith.
When a person of deep faith loses someone, it’s important to remember that grief is about their own experience of loss. It’s perfectly reasonable for someone to believe that their loved one is in a better place, and still to feel overwhelmed with the pain of being separated from them. Furthermore, a person can believe in a greater plan—all while still experiencing the pain of absence. It’s not selfish to grieve, and it’s definitely not a loss of faith. It’s a normal reaction to a devastating situation that can coexist with the comfort of one’s faith and spirituality.
Faith communities should be a place of comfort and support in times of loss. Thankfully, for many they are. But, the longer I work with grievers, the more I learn that not every faith community brings this support. In fact, some bring judgment and criticism for the emotions of grief, fixating on the idea that grief and faith cannot coexist. This leaves grievers feeling as though their grief has been minimized or misunderstood. If you have felt this way, I encourage you to consider that grieving the separation from someone you love can exist along with a faith that they are in a better place and that you will see them again.
If you are not finding the support you need in you congregation, it may be worth reaching out to others with a similar faith background who have also experienced loss. We have said it a thousand times before and we will say it again today:
You have permission to grieve. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! It is so important to find the people and place that allow you to do that.
Now, Rick and Kay Warren and I don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues, but a few months ago Kay posted on Facebook that she was getting frustrated with people pushing her to move on after the suicide death of their son. Though she doesn’t specifically address the internal conflict discussed above, she does give her perspective as a grieving mother and Evangelical Christian. It’s safe to say this is one area that I couldn’t agree more with Kay. In case you missed it, here are the words she shared on Facebook:
As the one-year anniversary of Matthew’s death approaches, I have been shocked by some subtle and not-so-subtle comments indicating that perhaps I should be ready to “move on.” The soft, compassionate cocoon that has enveloped us for the last 11 1/2 months had lulled me into believing others would be patient with us on our grief journey, and while I’m sure many will read this and quickly say “Take all the time you need,” I’m increasingly aware that the cocoon may be in the process of collapsing. It’s understandable when you take a step back. I mean, life goes on. The thousands who supported us in the aftermath of Matthew’s suicide wept and mourned with us, prayed passionately for us, and sent an unbelievable volume of cards, letters, emails, texts, phone calls, and gifts. The support was utterly amazing. But for most, life never stopped – their world didn’t grind to a horrific, catastrophic halt on April 5, 2013. In fact, their lives have kept moving steadily forward with tasks, routines, work, kids, leisure, plans, dreams, goals etc. LIFE GOES ON. And some of them are ready for us to go on too. They want the old Rick and Kay back. They secretly wonder when things will get back to normal for us – when we’ll be ourselves, when the tragedy of April 5, 2013 will cease to be the grid that we pass everything across. And I have to tell you – the old Rick and Kay are gone. They’re never coming back. We will never be the same again. There is a new “normal.” April 5, 2013 has permanently marked us. It will remain the grid we pass everything across for an indeterminate amount of time….maybe forever.
Because these comments from well-meaning folks wounded me so deeply, I doubted myself and thought perhaps I really am not grieving “well” (whatever that means). I wondered if I was being overly sensitive –so I checked with parents who have lost children to see if my experience was unique. Far from it, I discovered. “At least you can have another child” one mother was told shortly after her child’s death. “You’re doing better, right?” I was asked recently. “When are you coming back to the stage at Saddleback? We need you” someone cluelessly said to me recently. “People can be so rude and insensitive; they make the most thoughtless comments,” one grieving father said. You know, it wasn’t all that long ago that it was standard in our culture for people to officially be in mourning for a full year. They wore black. They didn’t go to parties. They didn’t smile a whole lot. And everybody accepted their period of mourning; no one ridiculed a mother in black or asked her stupid questions about why she was STILL so sad. Obviously, this is no longer accepted practice; mourners are encouraged to quickly move on, turn the corner, get back to work, think of the positive, be grateful for what is left, have another baby, and other unkind, unfeeling, obtuse and downright cruel comments. What does this say about us – other than we’re terribly uncomfortable with death, with grief, with mourning, with loss – or we’re so self-absorbed that we easily forget the profound suffering the loss of a child creates in the shattered parents and remaining children.
Unless you’ve stood by the grave of your child or cradled the urn that holds their ashes, you’re better off keeping your words to some very simple phrases: “I’m so sorry for your loss.” Or “I’m praying for you and your family.” Do your best to avoid the meaningless, catch-all phrase “How are you doing?” This question is almost impossible to answer. If you’re a stranger, it’s none of your business. If you’re a casual acquaintance, it’s excruciating to try to answer honestly, and you leave the sufferer unsure whether to lie to you (I’m ok) to end the conversation or if they should try to haltingly tell you that their right arm was cut off and they don’t know how to go on without it. If you’re a close friend, try telling them instead, “You don’t have to say anything at all; I’m with you in this.”
None of us wants to be like Job’s friends – the pseudo comforters who drove him mad with their questions, their wrong conclusions and their assumptions about his grief. But too often we end up a 21st century Bildad, Eliphaz or Zophar – we fill the uncomfortable silence with words that wound rather than heal. I’m sad to realize that even now – in the middle of my own shattering loss – I can be callous with the grief of another and rush through the conversation without really listening, blithely spouting the platitudes I hate when offered to me. We’re not good grievers, and when I judge you, I judge myself as well.
Here’s my plea: Please don’t ever tell someone to be grateful for what they have left until they’ve had a chance to mourn what they’ve lost. It will take longer than you think is reasonable, rational or even right. But that’s ok. True friends – unlike Job’s sorry excuse for friends – love at all times, and brothers and sisters are born to help in time of need (Prov. 17:17 LB).The truest friends and “helpers” are those who wait for the griever to emerge from the darkness that swallowed them alive without growing afraid, anxious or impatient. They don’t pressure their friend to be the old familiar person they’re used to; they’re willing to accept that things are different, embrace the now-scarred one they love, and are confident that their compassionate, non-demanding presence is the surest expression of God’s mercy to their suffering friend. They’re ok with messy and slow and few answers….and they never say “Move on.”
Amen, Kay. Amen.
Have you had experience with grief and faith? Let us know by leaving a comment below. While you’re at it, subscribe to make sure you never miss a post.
103 Comments on "Grief and Faith: The Relationship Between Grief and Belief"Click here to leave a Comment
Ele vai pedir você em namoro livro September 19, 2022 at 1:08 am
Excellent article! Congratulations on the information.
Mark McSweeney August 29, 2022 at 7:15 am
Great article, really needed! As a retired pastor, hospice chaplain, and grief coach, I have seen the need for what this article calls for. One author who does have both/and (spirituality and psychology) in their grief philosophy is Dr. Alan Wolfelt. His books have been very beneficial.
LITSA is correct, people misapply I Thess. 4:13, putting the period in the wrong place in the verse. Christians certainly are allowed to grieve (we see all three members of the Trinity grieve in Scripture and look at all the Laments in the Bible too), and this verse is saying we grieve, but with hope also (grieving, but not as if we had no hope).
People mean well, but too many have a “fixer” mentality which drives them to say the most insensitive remarks! As a hospice grief coach, I usually struggled to stand in the visitation line at the funeral home because of all the wrong advice given to the bereaved family! Intensified their grief!
Thank you to what’s your grief for your articles, I share your articles with my grief support groups! Great online courses too, I have used two so far and plan to do more.
Johnni June 20, 2022 at 11:54 am
My granddaughter passed away May 22, 2022. She was 6 years old. She was diagnosed at 4 with DIPG. An aggressive and terminal brain stem cancer. She was given 9 months to live, but she was a fighter and she fought for 22 months. She was such a light in all of our lives. She was so innocent. She had her whole life to live. I am questioning everything I have ever believed about God because of her death. I prayed for miracles, and to see her suffer and die broke me. Nothing in life makes sense. I prayed for God to take me instead, I am a recovering Alcoholic with almost 3 years sober, my son is 29 and I have put him through a lot through the years, but his sweet innocent daughter had her whole life to bring him joy. I know God’s ways are higher than ours so there is no way to fully understand, but these are the questions that keep going through my mind. When you become a parent and you look into your child’s eyes and you think you will never love anyone more, then you have grandchildren and the love you feel for them is so amazing you think you’ll burst… Nothing makes sense to me right now. Seeing the look on my son’s face as though he was in a daze all day at her Celebration of life was heartbreaking, I don’t think I will ever forget that look. Our family is so broken, and not sure how it will heal.
Greivin daughter June 18, 2022 at 9:26 am
My mother passed a few days ago. I was heartbroken. I truly expected my pastor or church would reach out. However my pastor is only 24 . Why I questioned why no support and my emotions flew. He simply said I was seeking attention. I have never heard of such a thing come from a pastor mouth. This is free will Baptist church, I wonder if this is something they teach the pastors or just because he is so young and has never experienced it. Either way I won’t be going back there
ellie April 16, 2022 at 9:17 pm
This is ellie again. I do go to counseling twice a week. One is a Christian grief counselor and the other one is just a really good counselor. They give me permission to get mad, cry, be sad, trust in God, etc. Some days if all I do is get up and shower and put on clean clothes, that is a successful day.
ellie April 16, 2022 at 9:13 pm
I lost my 26-year-old daughter on April 9, 2021. Then I lost my 29-year-old son on February 4, 2022. They were the only two children I had. I have never known so much pain in my life. I hurt so bad emotionally a week before my son’s memorial that I told God that if I was going to hurt this bad, I would just shoot myself. In God’s goodness, He let me know that the pain I was feeling was the pain my son felt 24/7. He was not only an older brother to my daughter, but he felt like her protector, almost like her father because her dad was not around much. I lost my only sibling and brother when he was 29. I thought then my soul had no bottom for the pain. My soul definitely has no bottom for the pain to land now. I get mad at people who say why do you have their pictures up and their urn out in view (their ashes are together as much as can be in an urn), and then I have separate ashes for each. That maybe if I hid their pictures and put their urn in my closet I could “finish grieving.” I will never finish grieving and I will never be the same person I was before. I can start crying in the grocery store, driving down the road and hear a song. There is so many levels to my grief, I cannot explain them all. I just know my life has changed and will never be the same again. Thank you for reading.
Marion Dudek May 21, 2022 at 6:55 pm
I lost my husband of 50 years to cancer on February 5th, 2021. I cannot in any sense of the word understand the pain you must be in. We are reminded in grief by everything that was attached to those we love from the expressions they used to the cookies they loved. I will pray for you. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do with their photos. I keep my husband’s all over our house. This is your grief and no one else’s. Hugs
Edward March 20, 2022 at 6:16 am
Sermons on dealing with Grief are what I truly relied on when my Father died last year. Keion Henderson was a personal favorite Pastor of mine and I listened to his sermons that truly helped me cope.
Wendy March 4, 2022 at 4:11 am
I lost my husband 13 years ago. We were both christians . I grieved I still grieve. Although the rawness of it has dimmed over time the loss is still there. I have experienced people saying the wrong thing and used to get really hurt by some of it sometimes down right angry. But I take a step back now. Lots of people don t know what to say they have never experienced loss and even if they have every single person is different and handles it in their own way. People are not being malicious they are trying to be kind. So now I smile say thank you and take no notice.
The faith in God or should I say my God has given me so much comfort. Like the verse say we do not grieve without hope. My certain hope is that one day I will see my husband again. But also my certain hope/faith in God has carried me every day. I have prayed cried out to God and have seen so many answers to prayer. I am not over it/through it but when I have days when I feel overwhelmed again by it all God reminds me that he loves me and the bible also promises he is faith and never leaves me.
I take comfort from a poem called Footprints it sums up how I feel about my life and my faith. God is right by my side every minute.
I think if you take this one verse in isolation you don t get the full picture of how our faith/our God carries us through every day. There are so many other promises in the bible we need to see the whole picture.
Marie Bradley January 31, 2022 at 12:25 am
I just lost my son unexpectedly on Dec 8, 2021, at the age of 34. He was active in the US Navy during his death. He left behind 2 beautiful daughters. Losing my beloved son has been unbelievably hard. I am struggling from day to day, and half of me just died with my son. My husband is very supportive of me and very understanding.
Sonia January 28, 2022 at 6:23 pm
I have recently lost my grandmother who I consider my mother because she has been with me since the moment I’ve taken my first breath and raised me after her daughter abandoned me. 7 days have passed since she has taken her last breath and I feel like I’m losing my mind. I have been battling myself with my faith. Although my grandmother was an extremely faithful woman, I just feel lost, alone, and like if I can’t back into life. I’ve been through plenty of deaths in my life however, this one has completely broken me to a point where the pain is overcoming everything. I have been praying and begging God to help me understand but I don’t know because of my pain, anger, and suffering I refuse to listen. Is this normal?
Litsa January 29, 2022 at 1:36 pm
Questioning faith and feeling completely consumed by the pain is very common, especially immediately following a loss of someone so close with you. Seven days is still so incredibly recent. Be gentle with yourself and know that your grief and your relationship with your faith will change and evolve over the coming weeks and months. It may be helpful to talk with a friend, counselor, or spiritual advisor. Sometimes talking with someone else can help to feel reconnected and less alone in the earliest days after a loss – though no one else can understand, they can still provide support.
HH January 10, 2022 at 10:36 pm
I lost a friend and she meant a lot to me. I don’t know how to love and still make it ok. I don’t know how to ever say those words to her without it becoming so awkward. She wants nothing to do with me because I suggested my affections to her. I never meant to love her, my heart just got away. I thought it was a gift – the biggest gift one could ever give.
I feel miserable as if love isn’t worth it any more. It feels like a dull sickness that will never subside and its been months. I feel like a piece of me is missing.
Mike December 17, 2021 at 10:46 pm
Just starting to undersand, after my loss last year. Finding Meaning is just a matter of practice; your notions are equally valid.
Sandy October 21, 2021 at 2:04 am
I would like to add thst me and my husband were happily married for 25 yrs he was 53 when be passed I was 50
SYLVIA SUMPTER February 12, 2022 at 9:56 pm
My husband and I were married for 43 years. He died on October 1, 2021. I miss him terribly and most days I still wonder why I’m still here. My heart still aches; however I pray all day everyday to keep moving forward. My daily prayers seem to help me and I have managed to make it this far with God’s help. I try to focus more on my relationship with God and not so much on my grief. I am not saying it has been easy but it has sustained me thus far.
Sandy October 21, 2021 at 1:58 am
Yes I have experience Grief my husband passed on June 2,2013 from stage4 cancer. He was a13 yr cancer survivor. He died from side effects if the treatment. I was not going to be selfish and keep my husband here That was not living for him. When the lord finally took him home and healed him. I felt so lost my husband was aGift from Gid to me he-was a man if integrity who loved the lord me and his kids. His main concern is that we were ok but since the death if my husband i fell like a oeace of me is missing. I was told my a friend that iur God is a jealous God. We put no one before him I disagree I never put my husband before God we both Lived God he was the head if our life. But the pain and separation hurts it still hurts different situations can trigger the pain ex at church this month is about marriage. But I feel like I am co stantly reminded of what I no longer have I miss him do much. There were times I ask the Lord why you did not just take me with him. Its nkthing but lain hurt mjsery on this earth. Some days are better then others just pray for me. Thanks fir listening
Kim September 11, 2021 at 9:08 am
Well said. When a person or animal we love passes, it hurts because we do love them. We do not want to be without them. What we were experiencing with that love has been cut off. Our love with and for them is stopped, right then and there. Their love stopped in our lives. Ouch. That hurts. And it takes our hearts time because our minds need time to adjust. To return to a life without the comfort of that other breath within our grasp. We should always remember that death is going to happen and therefore, enable ourselves to appreciate the days that are without it.
Debra a Pennel April 30, 2021 at 2:46 pm
My husband and daughter both died in 2015 unexpectedly. They both were believers in God. I’m wanting to know was this a test for me, to get closer to God and accept his Son Jesus Christ?
NP March 14, 2021 at 3:08 pm
As concerning the Word of life, Luke 10 section 25-28 says: On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
Luke 18 section 18-25 says: A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'” “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Matthew 5 section 43-48 says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
In Old Testament, the Jewish people and their ancestors were given the Law to observe. First, What Adam and Eve should observe was that they could not eat the fruits from the tree of wisdom. Then, their son Cain was told that he should not kill. As sins became increased, the laws were also added more. Up to the generation of Moses, the Law in Old Testament was given to Israelites. We know that the Law is good and the Law is used to punish people who commit sins, but people cannot obey the Law because the sinful spirits are in people. Even that we know stealing and giving false testimony are sinful, but greedy and pride spirits in us drive us to do sinful things. So as Old Testament prophesied we need to get rid of our sinful nature from our spirits.
Jeremiah 31 section 31-33 says: “The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Ezekiel 36 section 24-27 says: “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
The prophecies are fulfilled when Jesus begins to teach love. The two greatest commandments are ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Love is above the Law and if people have love they are free from the law of sin and death. People who are full of love will not think about stealing or giving false testimony but are merciful and they feed hungry people or give thirsty people something to drink or invite strangers in or clothe people who need clothes. The Law is for people who commit sins. Nobody will say that he will get reward because he does not steal before. But love is the grace we get. And with love we will get eternal life.
Romans 13 section 8-10 says: Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Luke 17 section 20-21 says: Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say,’ Here it is,’ or ‘ There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
John 4 section 23-24 says: Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Spinbobbin March 4, 2021 at 6:42 am
My husband died of Covid 10 weeks ago he was 61 we met 1 week and were married 7 weeks later we have been married for 41 years through the years we have gone through trial
2 kidney transplant 1 from our 21 year old daughter which the hospital botched up
2 heart attacks
1 triple by pass
Pnemonia many times
Home Heamodyalsis for for years done by me
Then a bloomin virus , I have has people say I can’t wait till I get my vaccine I want my life back , but heres the thing whilst all these people want theirs lifes back mine has GONE
Col and I our committed Christians and although I know I can’t take my life , I won’t do anything to prolong it so I have decided not to have the vaccine and pray I get covid again and this time it kills me , the days of colins life we were not allowed to be together because we both had Covid it was traumatic not being with him . Now I have since hunted in my bible for comfort spoken to my vicar in depth spoke to a greif councillor and still god remains silent and 8f one more person quotes footsteps in the sand I will scream , its says in the bible if you pray in Jesus name you will be heard well ive begged , pleaded with jesus to take my life and let me wake up, and yet here I am ive stopped all my medication so that god willing I will die sooner than later
The one thing no one tells you is their is this thing called greif apathy ! Its there but just not said about your allowed to greive for about 6 weeks then you friends , church , start saying things like there’s nothing I can say to help you , you just have to get through this on your own even my children have said there’s nothing I can say ive tried mum
I dont want anyone to say anything I want god to do what he supposed to do and listen to me but no he stays silent , 8ve been left with doubts like did my husband rally love does god say yes he did no just silent
Did he really trust me no just silent
My heart is breaking and I’m in the worst pain ever god silent
Ive spent hours trailing through the bible to gain comfort None not 1 jot
And im still trying so if I’m trying so hard th talk to God why won’t he talk to me
I need his help now more than ever and yet I can’t hear him what am I doing wrong
Tracey May 7, 2021 at 10:05 pm
Hi, I want you to know I am so sorry for your loss and the pain you are experiencing. I unexpectedly lost my dad last year and the pain has been unbearable at times. Although we have different losses I can relate to feeling as though God isn’t listening or speaking to me anymore. I wish I could offer you some Biblical wisdom or words of comfort that will heal your broken heart, but I don’t think I could. But, I have to believe that the Lord is listening and He does care although my mind says otherwise at times. I do believe we face trials and tribulations in our lives, it says so in the Bible, but we have to keep pressing on and pressing in to grow in the Lord and ask for His comfort and peace in all circumstances. Our adversary would like nothing more than for us to give up and give in to the grief we are enduring, but we must not allow him the satisfaction. I pray this will help you in some way and me as well as I remind myself of the truth of God’s love.
Nancy1299 June 12, 2021 at 6:27 pm
I know exactly how you feel. I am going into the 3rd year since my husband’s death. He was a retired Chief Fire Inspector. We were only married 22 years. He died of pneumonia due to brain cancer. I found a church for us and the night before I went, alone, because my husband was in no shape to go. I found out about the cancer. I sobbed, I wanted to die, I knew God was going to take him away from me. I didn’t want to spend my older years alone. He didn’t tell me about the cancer, my brother did. D couldn’t bear to tell me. He was gone 5 weeks later. He had heart surgery 5 years before and he was not the same. His youngest committed suicide 6 months before he died. That sped up his demise. I always wanted to die before him. I didn’t want to live in this world without him. My mom died 2 years earlier, sister in law and her husband died in 2 year gaps before my mom, all cancer of the brain. My wonderful nieghbor died 3 months after Dan. I am tired of death hovering, but that’s tough, it’s here to stay.
I had disability from a vaccination when I was a baby, D loved me and showed it. Now that disability is worse. People like to believe that disabled are treated differently these days. But I disagree, because I know first hand. I am uncomfortable around people, I can count on one hand the friends I have had, not very good ones at that. They are no longer interested in friendship or disappeared. We moved after he retired and he lost his job that suplimented our income, 2 years after we moved. I don’t go to church because I feel I don’t have anything in common with people and because of that I have trouble talking to people. I don’t know people here where I am living. I too beg God for something to be happy about. My dear husband seemed to have more faith than I. The 3rd year is when I lost so much faith. I don’t want to be married again because I loved him so much. No one would measure up. I never dreamed of meeting someone so kind, handsome and real. I feel lonelier now than before I met him. I was married to an alcoholic for 14 years before D. My dad died the day after that marriage. My leg brace broke at dinner and my dad fixed it, then he said What would you do without me. He died the next day, brain aneurysm. We had to shut off the machine that breathed for him. Same with D and he died on my dad’s birthday. I couldn’t bear to watch it. I just couldn’t do that. Yes, I forgave my dad for what he did, but did not forget. Wish I could, but it’s impossible. Now all I want is something to look forward to. We are supposed to look forward to eternity, but how do we live in this world till then? I want A life with good friends. Friends are foreign to me. I have a son that became almost deaf in the army and I can’t talk with him easily because of it. The VA won’t help him, he needs cochlear implants. All he wanted was a career in the Army. They let him down. He lives and pays rent in my home. I still feel so lonely. I was sexually abused by family members when I was very young. I forgave but can’t forget. They have such full lives and I wonder why. I keep this secret because I would ruin lives, innocent ones. I couldn’t tell my mom, I don’t know if she would have believed me and I didn’t want to hurt her. I am the only girl in my family. She said that she didn’t want a girl. I don’t know if she meant it. She could be hurtful with her tongue. The one that holds the secrets suffer. I have no distractions and that is not good. I get up every morning and that is forced. I find myself disappointed that I wake. At the same time I think of my son. God’s will terrifies me so much. They say God never gives more than one can handle. I don’t believe it anymore. We are supposed to look forward to our next life, have patience and wait on God. I lived the later part of life that way. I want to feel happy about something. I have no patience, I get angry at the slightest thing. I have a house, his and my retirement and a little insurance from his death. I know I am supposed to feel grateful for that, I am, but money doesn’t make one happy. Money worries was one of the things that helped kill him. His ex got almost half of his retirement. He would say he wished she would die, she wasn’t a nice person and that was told to me by her son. There are 2 sides to every story I learned, but her son told me about her so now I know both sides. I was told by others but that is hearsay, gossip. I wonder what happens to a person that turns them so hateful. I would tell D not to say he wished she would die. She went through a million after her parents death, she didn’t need it. He was irritated she got any of his retirement. I told him that saying it just might cut his life short. Don’t wish people dead, just don’t do that. She doesn’t get his retirement now, but when he was alive she did. This world gets crueler every day, I am so tired of it. I won’t watch news anymore. I believe in hell and I would have been dead years ago if I didn’t. Is it a sin? I wonder at times, Does God throw away Christians that lose they’re way and do something out of extreme mental hopelessness? It leaves survivors feeling destroyed, I know. That is the ex Catholic in me. The only Catholic belief I wonder about. All of the other beliefs they brainwash one with I cast off years ago. I am a fundamentalist. No religion, just belief and that has been seriously damaged. My faith is ravaged, I want it back but it is not happening. Who am I to think I should understand Gods ways? Do we even understand how Holy He is? I don’t think so. It’s good that I fear suicide and I love my son. I hope I couldn’t do that to him. I won’t say never, because that is something I learned years ago. Never say never. I got this as a notification in a Bible app: Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,”
1 Corinthians 13:4 KJV
I said to God “well puffed up I am not”. I do find envy is my enemy, has been a long time. Guilt from it is equally bad. I used to think of people who have it worse, and realize how blessed I am. That doesn’t work quite the way it used to. So if some prayer warrior reads this and the comment I am replying to, please pray for us. When two or more are gathered in His name… But We are alone. Please don’t quote scripture, because I have been through Gods word a few times. I know what it says, but faith determines if it gets into our spirit. It doesn’t move me like it did, that scares me because I do Fear Him. My husband and I would listen to a preacher, Charles Lawson, we liked on YT every night for two years. We would talk about what’s to come. When I was worried he would tell me God will provide. At the same time he worried so much. I don’t have that anymore. God, prophecy concerning world events and Heaven were my favorite subjects. No one to talk to about them anymore. People don’t like to talk about the inevitable, it scares them. I believe the death of one’s spouse does also because it could happen to them. They say, well I miss him too. They don’t understand, he wasn’t their whole life, he was mine. The one I do know loved me when I had no one that I feel cared about me. That’s why he couldn’t tell me he was dying. He looked out for me before we even got married, I found out after he died. That’s someone that is so precious, so rare and inconceivable to me. When you experience the nastiness of humans in your life, it’s hard to see that there are good people still around. I feel bad that I can’t be more thankful for what I have. I want to be I really do. I apologise because this is all over the place, but so is my mind lately.
Kathryn February 25, 2021 at 6:32 pm
This article gives a clear idea to a new blogger like me. The best comfort in this life is having a close relationship with God. Our relationship with God won’t ever be directly as long as our relationship with others isn’t right. Come and visit my page on Inspiration Comes from Our Relationship with God and Other People
Hope this will help you as well.
Roxanne Goss February 1, 2021 at 12:18 pm
When I came upon this site, I felt like finally I’ve found a place where people have suffered tragedy and they have feelings like mine.
On jan of 2018 my husband and I moved into our 100+ year old farm house with 10 acres. The house needed a lot of work but my husband loved remodeling.
Then just 3 months later, the love of my life died on March 10, 2018 from a massive heart attack. I found him in the fields of our farm. I tried CPR and then the EMS team took over. They worked on him for 30 more minutes at the hospital before they asked me if they could call it.
Somewhere during this nightmare, I literally dis-associated. I have no real memories from the moment the EMTS took over till I woke up in the hospital the next morning. My girls finally realized something was wrong when I kept asking them where their dad was (we were still at the hospital).
The next morning they released me. I was trying so very hard to hold on to God and my faith.
My husband and I had retired after his first heart attack 13 years before to serve God. We were involved in so many different ministries. We were living life large and loving one another like we did when we first met.
I remember screaming out for God to help me while I was doing CPR. I prayed and prayed and prayed but God had His own plan. I thought he would come back. I thought God would grant my prayer.
Then 1 week later, I had to put my dog down. After that, every week held another slap in the face.
Like many of you, my church family gave me platitudes, my church group told me to move on within months of Steve’s death.
Everything in the house started to break and need repair. The basement flooded, an idiot repairman was in the basement and accidently turned on the fuel spigot. We weren’t using fuel but apparently there was some in the tank. My basement smelled awful. Eventually I had to have a company come in and do a “restore” on my basement.
Then I had the trees trimmed around the property because I feared that one would fall. Three weeks later, one of the trees they missed fell on my husbands brand new pole barn.
I got spam calls from sick people playing jokes.
I finally decided that I had to sell the house. It sold quickly and I had to disperse of our 23 alpacas in a hurry. Only to have the deal fall through at the last second.
I was still fighting to hold on to God but at some point, I started questioning God. God how could you take the most precious thing from me.
I did finally move into a condo and the farm sold. Unfortunately my depression just got worse. I had nothing to keep me busy.
I thought many times of suicide. Surely God took Steve and He would understand if I took my life to be with him. On March 9 2019 I gathered all my medicine together and read up on what combination could I take so that I would die on March 10. Obviously I didn’t take all the medicine.
Its been 2 1/2 years and I no longer am thinking of suicide. As time goes on, the pain becomes a little less.
I remember during the early time, just breathing was something that was hard to do and living simply minute by minute.
However, I find myself unable to “trust” God. How do you trust someone who failed you?
Steve has relatives are were 100 before they died. Steve died at 68. I would give everything to just have that day to do over again. I know the outcome wouldn’t change but …..
Its funny I came to Christ years ago. I’ve had God talk to me many times over the years. However, I haven’t heard from God since Steve died.
I know God, I’ve seen Him perform miracles, I know His Son died on the cross for My sins and yet my heart breaks.
Everybody says read Job. Reading Job breaks my heart. God and Satan conspire together to see if Job will continue to have faith. Time and time again, God allows Job to be tested. What kind of God tests us? He knows all so He should know that we will fail?
People say that I’m sinning by questioning God. I just want answers. I want God to pull me into His loving arms and open my eyes so that I can have some peace.
Thanks for listening. I pray that we all find a way to put our hurts behind us so that they are not crushing us.
Isabelle Siegel February 4, 2021 at 10:55 am
Roxanne, I’m truly so sorry for your loss and for the pain you’ve been forced to endure. Please know that it is completely normal to question your faith after a loss… There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. I’m glad to hear that the pain is lessening. If you ever think of hurting yourself again, or even if you just need someone to talk with, please call the National Suicide Helpline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website where you can do a live online chat https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ All the best to you.
Nthabiseng M October 3, 2021 at 2:09 pm
Reading your comment got me in tears, I relate with how you’re feeling. I recently lost my Mom. She’s the pillar of this household, her playing both roles truly marked and still marks what an incredible woman she is. My mom got her injection for the new plague we fighting (covid) and she starting feeling sick. We assumed it was one of the side effects as it was mentioned that the vaccine brings about side effects that may last 3-4 days. She was slowly detteriating, so much so she started having chest pains that led to shortness of breath. She got admitted into hospital, doctors called us a day or 2 to say she wasn’t responding to a masked oxygen the best option would be going onto a ventilator. I mean the transition meant this was very serious, I was scared but I had faith, I had faith in God because in Deuteronomy 31:8 (which is my anchor scripture) it says “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”. I knew who my Father and King is and I knew He knew how much I need my Mom and her health being fully restored. God has never failed, why would He start now? Sadly my Mom passed 14 days later after being on the ventilator. To say I’m broken is an understatement, 25 years of age and I’m just shattered. I wonder why…why..I fully understand it’s His will but His will hurts. His will makes me question whether He truly loves me…why would He let me down when I needed Him the most. I’m truly sorry for your loss, I pray one day the Father Himself will draw us near and let it us know that all is well.
Sabra Redd January 22, 2021 at 8:47 am
When you die, you do not go directly to Heaven to be with GOD. If this were true, there would be no need for The Rapture. So folks are lied to just to ease their grief? Hinder no the little children.
Anitah Nabuduwa January 8, 2021 at 11:48 am
God is omniscient. Nothing happens without his knowledge here on earth and in the heavens. I learnt not to question God, l accepted my pain and grieve mercilessly to God alone.
After 7 years of dating the apple of my eye, we were finally blessed with a holy matrimony. Our wedding day was beautiful. I rocked my gown n he was so handsome in his suit. We surely were too grateful to God for achieving such a milestone in our mid twenties. I mean it was a dream come true. We exchanged vows and ” Till death does us part” was the last thing we could expect at such a tender age and on such a blessed day.
24 hours after our wedding, he developed an acute pain in his chest from the blue on reaching the hospital, he breathed his last infront of me. Postmortem results walked in with, “blood clot in the left lung”. So strange! Just like that, my marriage was gone. It lasted a single day. I still can’t absorb life without him and the shock of his premature demise. Such a mystery is known only to God.
I grieve bitterly to the lord. I surely can’t tell what big sin l or the late had done to God to deserve such a cruel ending.
Indeed, Death is cruel, my marriage ending prematurely is something l am learning to accept knowing that God is the planner of everything. He knows how long each one will live and no one can add a single day onto the days God gave him or her on earth.
I mourn bitterly as l look for strength from God in prayer and worship. He will never return to me but l will go where he is. What can a mere human being do when God’s will was final even though painful. His will is way far from our human will basing on his knowledge and wisdom, he sees dark corners that we have not seen in our future.
Day by day, l hope to return home to the lord. Somedays l pray for a quick death because, looking at life now, l see no meaning in everything around me. “All is vanity” now makes much more sense to me. Every joy we share soon fades away into tears, and emptiness as we hold onto memories made. What a fallen world!
Mornings come and evenings go and my prayer to return home and faith in the lord as my only hope for a better life after l have slept is still strong. And nothing shall shake my faith.
He is God and he is sovereign. He allows pain and then heals our wounds. He comforts us and redeems us to what he wants us to be. It’s good that l suffered than l now know the God l serve better.
“Those who gather to mock, judge or accuse me, will be scattered.” May God forgive them because he is now the only strength am left with. He is the husband to the widows and our comforter.
Iam in a small world of my own where l am seeking my God with a hope that someday, soon, l will return home and be peaceful in the presence of my father. Without pain nor tears nor sorrow.
Besides, What is on this fallen earth to rejoice in anyway? Pain and suffering define every milestone. Happiness endures just for a moment the only hope to look upto is eternal life in Jesus Christ.
IsabelleS January 8, 2021 at 12:59 pm
Anitah, I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you.
Ken Gray November 23, 2020 at 12:44 am
I guess my biggest grief is that God doesn’t help. His just being there with me doesn’t help. To the contrary, just being there and not helping or at least making His presence known, causes more problems, doubts, anxiety, heartache, sorrow, misery, etc. This silence from God is why so many turn from God. Here is a short story.
A man was walking by the river. After a while he comes across a woman drowning in the river. He rushes to the spot near the shore and sees a floatation device there. He yells to the woman that he is here to help. Then he stands there and watches her drown. Later when questioned about why he didn’t help her, he says that his just being there is helping.
If I was the one just watching her die, when I could save her, I’d end up in jail. What kind of degenerate would I be? I’d be treated like a monster, and rightly so. I feel like the one who is drowning and God is standing on the shore just watching in silence. This doesn’t seem like a good thing to me. The Bible says that God wants to help us, then turns around and gives all manner of excuses as to why God doesn’t help. If God wants to help me, I know He could. If God wants to speak to me He could. Anything and everything is possible for God. Thus if God doesn’t do anything, He must not want to. God is all powerful yet sin stops Him. So is sin more powerful than God? God doesn’t help by being silent. I don’t find peace or comfort in God’s silence, just disappointment, frustration, and doubt. It’s been 40+years since I gave myself to God through Jesus. 40+ years of silence and unanswered prayers. Sometimes I don’t know why I keep trying, just to be ignored. Thanks for the opportunity to say my piece, and May God Bless You, in Jesus name, Amen.
IsabelleS November 23, 2020 at 12:42 pm
Ken, thank you for taking the time to comment. I am so sorry to hear about the pain you are experiencing. It is so normal to question your faith in the face of loss. Your questions, disappointment, frustration, and doubt are completely valid.
Angela Barnard November 20, 2020 at 4:56 pm
I’ve tried writing my story. I wanted comments, it’s to hard.
frank November 15, 2020 at 1:58 pm
i lost my wife 14 years ago.i was sixty she was fifty four she died from a brain stroke while i was at work my son called me.i raced home in shock i had just talked to her a few hours before.she was operated on and i spent three days at her bedside while she was in a coma.they removed the equipt to see if she could breathe without it she couldn’t we had so many plans and now i am alone she was the only one for me i have tried to pray and support groups don’t help i still work to take up time but sooner or later i will have to retire i just want things the way they were but i know that can’t be.i never had a chance to say goodby and i am let with doubt if i will ever see her again this is a cruel life there are times when i think why do people even get born to have too suffer all these things so now i just let time go by hoping for my time.
IsabelleS November 16, 2020 at 11:14 am
Frank, I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved wife. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain you are going through. I completely understand questioning the meaning of life after a loss… Why are we made to suffer in this way? The best answer I can give you is that life is random… Sometimes things happen for no reason. You may find it helpful to seek out the support of a therapist trained in grief, which you can find here: https://grief.com/grief-counselor-directory/. If you are thinking of hurting yourself, or even if you just need someone to talk with, please call the National Suicide Helpline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website where you can do a live online chat https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Linda Cronshaw August 24, 2020 at 1:00 pm
My husband and I have been Christian’s for over 40 years – I was a lay minister but when my husband was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and after his death 8 months later I just had no support from the church we attended.The only thing the minister said to me in 7 months after he died was to wish me a Happy New Year – it hurt the lack of support from the minister and the church where we had served for over 16years and I moved but cant find a church where I feel I am welcome and could belong. It hurts so much as i was very involved on the pastoral side but no one there to support me.
Gail September 25, 2020 at 10:32 am
I’m so very sorry. It’s not right or fair that a place where you were so involved with and surrounded by people you cared about and thought they cared for you, has not shown you support. I truly am sorry. I will also pray for you. I do know that as someone who is struggling to support a dear aunt who suddenly lost her husband of almost 46 years, I wonder if anyone at your former church truly did long to support you but found it so hard to know how to? I’m trying to learn myself how to help my aunt- or anyone really that I know and love, how to support them and “say or do” the right thing” I have never lost anyone near and dear to me like that, except my mother in law, who I did love very much but wasn’t a part of my whole life for long. I know the only thing that I have learned so far, is if and when you are ready to, you can be a huge help to many people looking to find out “How” to be a support to someone when they lose a dear loved one. Know that I am praying for you.
Karen Legreid August 19, 2020 at 1:18 am
I am a Christian who has studied God’s Words for years. I have personally felt God’s presence. What I wonder, though, is why would God allow someone to lose both of her only children and her husband (via divorce after he left her)? It has been 30+ years of living without her entire family. Why does God allow that?
sharon gabby May 18, 2020 at 5:31 am
am here to share with you my life experience on how a great man called Dr gbojie saved me and my marriage.I have been Married & Barren for for 5 years i had no child. i have never been pregnant i was a subject of laughter from my Friends & neighbors, i almost lost my marriage because of this issue.i was so confused that i did not know what to do until i came across this great Dr online and i contacted him at once i was scared weather it was going to work because i never believed things like this before, so i decided to give it a try and i did all what Dr gbojie asked of me and today to my greatest surprise i took in the first time and i gave birth to a bouncing baby boy and now my marriage that was about crashing before is now restored. my husband now love and want me better, Am so happy for everything that have been happening in my life since i met this Dr gbojie .I want to tell all the women/men out there who have a similar situation like mine,that the world is not over YET they should dry up their tears and contact this great man and their problem will be gone or are you also having other problems you can also contact gbojiespiritualtemple @ gmail. com
Pastor John Wagner March 10, 2020 at 7:30 am
I don’t find link between belief and grief. Grief depends on circumstances, but faith is a gift of God.
Pastor John Wagner March 3, 2020 at 10:36 am
Everyone born with fate, so when we don’t stand responsible God for good works, why we do blame for bad ones.
Mark February 16, 2020 at 6:53 pm
In early 2016 my best friend died. I have his motorcycle. I sold my old Harley and his sits in my garage. It left a huge hole in my life. Less than three months later my mother suffered a terrible post surgery and death. Both of them died of pancreatic cancer. My mother was a preacher’s wife and a servant of God. Although my buddy was a new Christian he was an inspiration to many. These two deaths were poorly timed. The suffering.. It has been very challenging for me. I can’t find a place consistent with a good God to file these. For years I stood on the outside and found simple theological solutions. I thought I knew stuff. Now I know that I know jack squat. I do know to be sensitive to the suffering around me. To be present with those who have lost. To be kind beyond my ego needs, sacrificially..
Ann August 22, 2020 at 11:24 pm
I just lost my husband in the same terrible way and watched him in unspeakable suffering because of pancreatic cancer. The doctor had to know he was past the stage to operate but didn’t tell us and did it anyway. Total facetime after the horrific surgery for two months before they brought him home while hospice took over and allowed Further excruciating pain and suffering because they were not allowed to use his picc line to administer controlled substances at home. Suffered his sadistic surgeon who refused to tell us what was happening and even told him he could eat for which the result was excruciating. I believed the doctor until he started transitioning less than 2 weeks after coming home.
Paul February 8, 2020 at 2:07 pm
The problem is that there is too much crap talked about God, and it is quite frankly childish. It is the reason that Christianity is dying: it has become a religion that never really moved on from the niceties of Christmas. And when it comes up against death, it is going to come off worse. That is because Christianity is not grounded in reality. Heres a case in point. I was at a funeral. The coffin stood in front of the altar with the deceased inside it. And then we heard the utter absurdity of the gospel in which Jesus states that anyone who believes in him will not die! So what was we taking part in then? Was it not a funeral? Did the person NOT die? Then what was in front of us? A mirage?! Such wilful denial of the laws of nature inevitably leads one to conclude that Jesus was quite insane. He claimed to be the Messiah, but did not vanquish death. He thought the world was coming to an end in his lifetime, but it didnt.
A very good friend of mine who suffered intolerably in life has just died at the age of 47. The shock of this has crushed my faith, and the pain of it is very sharp and difficult to cope with. That is because the cold, hard truth is pricking me; telling me that this life is all we have and we should make the most of it instead of chasing celestial shadows, like the figures on-stage in Poe’s ‘Conqueror Worm’.
Becca September 23, 2020 at 5:31 am
I appreciate this article and sharing Kay Warren’s comments. The loss of a foster daughter has been devastating. Fortunately I have people in my church that communicate with me sensitively about it although not everyone knows the right thing to say. I have become comfortable with my feelings after all kinds of losses not fitting nicely into faith boxes but also find great comfort from God in prayer and from some of my faith friends. It doesn’t mean I don’t still have tears, anger, and insomnia 6 months later. What I am experiencing is different than what the people above have experienced. Those losses are so devastating and I don’t have any platitudes for them. I am so sorry for the horrible pain they are experiencing. I am glad they are reaching out to grief blogs to find people who may understand. Reading grief blogs at night has really helped me. There is certainly no judgment or rush here for grieving people. It is a sacred and long process.
Kat August 31, 2021 at 4:45 pm
But Paul, what Jesus meant by saying anyone who believes in him will not die, was not physical death! The meaning is that those who believe will have eternal life with him after physical death. That is our hope in the resurrection.
Cynthia January 8, 2020 at 11:36 am
My husband died suddenly 11-16-2018. We were married 42 years. We are both active, church involved believing Christians for all of our 42 years. I know he is with his Lord and Savior. However, this is my phase. My husband went to Heaven and I live in Hell. I am thrilled so thrilled that I know where he is and who he is with forever. I no longer attend my church that we both loved and served Jesus together. I had hugs. I had super great help with a major need. Then it ended. Only two people kept in touch, encouraging me. That ended too. I could not move along as fast as they wanted. I could not return to christian service as they thought I should. They moved on in God’s work saving the sinner as I laid shattered on the floor. I now after a year attend occasionally another church. I read a lot of books on grief seeking answers. I love my savior and know that one day it will be better one way or another. However, the walk I now walk is lonely, difficult , and unbearable. I don’t blame the church but I also don’t seek what I need from the church. They respond just as our culture responds not realizing that fact.
Becca September 23, 2020 at 5:37 am
I’m so sorry. I wish I was there in person to give you a big hug. Thank you for your service in the past. I’m sorry we in the church can let people go and not truly meet their needs in grief. I am glad you are taking the time you need. Grief can be so brutal. Sending a hug your way.
firstname.lastname@example.org October 12, 2020 at 1:08 am
Hi Brother Paul
I trust you are doing well by God’s grace.
I feel that i need to reply to younin regards to your opinion above.
I was in catholicism for more than 20years, then i decided to gave my heart to Jesus Christ and be a servant for his kingdom by helping people in desperate situation or even worse sometimes with suicidal behaviours.
I understood the Plan of God for every humanity on earth when i started to read the Holy Bible which i described later as our “Manual of Everyday’s Life”.
The bible says in the book of Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of Knowledge..
My reply to your message is, sometimes we get so frustrated and depressed and focused mostly on what is happening around us that we forget that we have The GOD Almighty who created the whole universe and every living creatures.
I just want you to spend 10minutes to read this scripture from the bible to edify your knowledge about Spiritual and fleshly life. Please read the whole chapter in the book of 2 Corinthians 5 verse 1-21 and i firmly believe that it will open your mind,soul and spiritual eyes of what is really happening around you.
A servant of GOD Yahweh
God Bless you
Cindy January 7, 2020 at 4:52 pm
Comments about: God was with someone who survived a crash, cancer, or something devistating and survived and my beautiful 41 year old Christian daughter dies of a rare form of sarcoma/cancer.
I don’t understand God anymore, maybe I never have!
Kristi Butler December 13, 2019 at 11:52 pm
It’s found one of the most difficult things is you reaching out for prayers and people not acknowledging your pain at all. Some but not all. I know it’s uncomfortable but if a person is reaching out they truly need help. To be ignored is so hurtful!! I’ve had many Christian coworkers completely just say nothing. Some will just pat me in the shoulder which is great and let’s you know they care
Deb Matters November 6, 2019 at 4:26 pm
I lost my soulmate 4 years ago to cancer, being a widow has been the hardest journey of my life and I have had a pretty jam packed life so far. I had a deep faith and was able to “speak” with God but after losing my hubby that has changed. I admit I was angry at God for a time but have forgiven myself and asked for his forgiveness and cleansing of my soul regarding it. I still don’t feel that close connection, I know its got to be me that is avoiding him but I just don’t know how or what to do to get that strong relationship back with him. I will always grieve my husband but I know he is in heaven and doing his work there, I KNOW I will see him again but to me its not soon enough! How does one get back the excitement and joy in life again? I want to find this for my kids and young grandkids but its so difficult. I also struggle with serious health issues and some days I just want the pain and struggles to end. Where does everyone who has faith get that tenacity to continue on with the fight and to keep wanting to be part of life and our purpose here/ I am so confused and lost.
surayyah November 21, 2019 at 1:46 am
the tancity is the will to keep going on, faith even when you cant see anything,,. faith in the dark will prevail into light. I am a mother of three kids single mom now I lost my fiancé and father to my 3 june 2017 about 2 and a half years now. the drive come from the children’s future not even my own desires but the fight for them anything to better a situation please do to your faith. I never say why me say try me. god gives his toughest battles to his strongest belivers. I belive in you because you have a generation ahead of you just look towards the light more not so hard but just in simple life things. I hurt every day there is no moveo n I have distanced myself from people who I thought were our friends now im to raise 3 kids on my own life is life but the will and drive isn’t ini everyone. find and look within your self not the sitatuion you are more aware and have a sense of compassion and heart becase of the situatuoin. pain is pain and love is love . I wake up everyday and do my routine doing what I can do to the best of my ability and that is enough god knows your heart and that also is enough. grieve as you do but with a sense of possibilies waiting and that you meet again. god is always there but doestn act when u want him to. im sorry for your loss.
SoLostandSad February 15, 2020 at 9:59 pm
My husband passed away 2 days after you wrote this. And everything that you wrote is exactly how I’m feeling. My husband was only 46 and I’m 45. I feel like I have so much lonely life to endure alone now.
William Chambers November 1, 2019 at 11:43 am
As of yesterday it has been 18 months since I lost my wife to Alzheimer’s that, after a battle that lasted beyond a decade. She was at home when she died, and with her death my whole life crashed before me. We are followers of Jesus, and even that part of my life fell apart. Stopped going to church, stopped praying, stopped Bible reading. Became very depressed to the point of not caring about anything, the house, myself included. Over did sleep meds and other depressants, a couple times way to much. But by the grace of God I didn’t die. So here I am today struggling to get my life and more importantly my spiritual life, my relationship with Jesus., back on track. Still isolate myself way to much, seems like nothing anymore excites me to the point of wanting to get involved. Although I have offered myself to volunteer with a home health and hospice organization. Definitely not as down as I was, but obviously the struggle with grief continues and I am sure it will continue until I get to join my wife in Heaven.
surayyah November 21, 2019 at 1:55 am
I understand your pain
Stephani McCool October 20, 2019 at 11:05 am
We lost our precious 2 year old grandson in March of this year. As a parent, have never experienced the pain of watching my child live through such a nightmare and completely helpless any every way. My daughter is very young and Xander was her entire world. I wanted to carry every ounce of pain for her and her husband because I could not imagine their pain. My soul was ripped out of my body and theirs was unimaginable to me. My daughter held him as he died. It was a heart condition that went undetected which lead to a virus entering his heart valves. Cardiac arrest. We were completely in shock that this beautiful healthy toddler had a health problem no doctor was ever aware of. I carried every weight for them that I could. His body had to be flown back to our home state for the funeral. I had to meet the cargo plane and watch my grandbaby unloaded in a cardboard box for the local funeral home to transfer him for their preparation for his service. I watched my child try to run away when they saw the tiny casket unloaded from the hearse. I had to be strong for our family and push my grief aside. I was told it gets easier, time heals, remember the good times, he is heaven and you need to rejoice. I had to find out it is okay to cry. It is okay to go through periods of crying for 3 days non stop then have a few weeks of calm. It is okay to think you are losing it because it is part of the process. No one tells you this. They seem to believe 3-6 months is sufficient. It is not. You are grieving the life that went to heaven with your loved one and most of the person you were went to heaven with them. This is a completely different life and nothing prepares you for this. I just tell God to hold my hand and keep me going because I have no idea how to do this. Accept the fact that you can’t know the triggers that will turn your progress upside down in a matter of minutes. It is day to day but it is also minute by minute on some days. Do not rush yourself, do not allow others to pressure you to get over it. Those who have lived this know reality is what we have to learn to live with. This does not get “easier”, time just allows us to heal and accept. I am only at month 7. I am still learning how to live life knowing Xander is gone. I also feel selfish because my grief is NOTHING compared to my child’s grief. There are few that will allow me to talk to them. Others just say “he is in heaven, you need to realize this”. My flesh wants our baby back because we need him. We weren’t ready to give him back to heaven. I have not once been angry at God. I have prayed for him to continue to heal us and the pain to lessen. I know he needed him back for a reason and I do not now that reason. I do know he saved him from something and he did have a purpose on this earth for his short little life. He brought joy to everyone, he was always smiling and those who met him never forgot him. He was special. Let your heart grieve. Take your time, this loss goes against the natural order and we are learning each day how to continue our lives with this huge part of our heart missing.
carol January 24, 2020 at 12:31 pm
I am so sorry for your lost , I lost my father 6 days ago. Your post is so heartfelt, I feel like the average person has no clue what it is like to lose a loved one, I too thought I was being “sincere” but saying “he/she is with God now” and although that may be true, it doesen’t stop the pain. I understand that as a mother you are concerned about your daughter losing a child, you have your grief and your child’s grief to try to “cope” with, I pray that God will give you the support to help you “manage” this time of sorrow. I found myself quoting the story of the 3 Hebrews and the fiery furnance, a few weeks before my father passed( he was 85, kidney failure, heart issues, and stomach tumors) in the story the Hebrew boys would not worship King Nebecannazars God, and although they were told they would be thrown in the fiery furnance( and they were) they said , ” our God is able to deliver us, but even if he doesn’t we will not worship your God”(paraphrasing)… I truly believe God used this scripture for me, because I was praying that God would heal my dad, and I truly felt he would be healed, and was shocked and hurt when I was told he passed. I know God has the power to do any and everything, but when we lose a loved one, our faith is constantly being tested . I will always believe in God, but I admit I have to constantly keep my mind on scriptures, and know that this is all apart of God’s plan. My ex husband told me something that stung, but he said he wanted me to understand that he said it because I had to come to terms that ” everyone living will have to cope with the death of a loved one, and why do you feel you would be the exception”? Thanks for your post, take care of yourself also, because I know you are doing everything within your power to take care of your daughter. God Bless.
Becca September 23, 2020 at 5:44 am
I don’t have words but I appreciated yours. I wish there was a way to make it easier for you. This is heartbreaking. It is a unique type of pain when it is a small child. I hear you in your grief and affirm your need to grieve as much or more than anyone who knew him. Your grief is unique to your position in your family and no one else has your exact grief. I’m so sorry. I wish I had better words for you or something that could help.
Pam Ramsay October 9, 2019 at 2:05 pm
11 months ago we lost our son ..our healthy dirtbike champion racing son that took care of his body 29 years old our beautiful son Caleb I am a deep faith believing woman in God and so was Caleb Caleb died of cancer I am offended by people telling me I need to get closer to God I should be getting better I just “need a deeper faith and get closer to God “I don’t even want to go to church now . People say I’m praying for you really where are you why aren’t you at my doorstep the dishes are stacked up the laundry is stacked up I would like to be encouraged to even get out of bed and take a bath !!”We miss you when you’re not at church “they say ! i don’t even want to go anymore I feel like I’m just sitting there with people that really don’t care “God’s people who are always there every time the door is open I can’t do it now that is going to church I am so lost devastated ! Forever hurting Mon
Marsha October 5, 2019 at 9:42 am
I had grieved over loss of many things i wanted to be healed from grief but i forgot the lord wanted me to use it to help others but i failed to trust him and now i hate myself and cant do anything for the lord or no longer have close relationship with him or my church the grief actually gave me a heart to want to reach kids and now he took it away and i realize i am a failure and i want to quit i forgot it was to reach others i got selfish and stupid and now i want to be the person i waz before not free who does not care about othersanymore i am angry at myself cuz i lost my relationship with the lord i experienced too much loss but my priorities were wrong i wanted him to replace that loss
Michelle September 24, 2019 at 10:56 am
I wish people were more compassionate and empathetic towards the bereaved and understood how malicious their comments can be received. Five weeks after my brother’s violent and tragic suicide, I hosted a birthday party for my mother-in-law and my husband’s family. My sister-in-law’s husband said the most awful and cruel things that I will never forgive or forget and he should have known better – he lost his teenage son in a tragic car accident that was the fault of a drunk driver about 25 years ago. Upon arriving at my house, he sat down and blurted out, “What do you think of Robin Williams and mental health?” No words of comfort, no “I’m sorry for your loss” no hugs, nothing! Then he proceeds to antagonize me by attacking faith and saying things like “There is no God, there are no miracles…” and then criticized my Christian faith by criticizing Christians and their poor treatment of the earth and animals. He was argumentative and belligerent and not one person intervened because they are conditioned to his antagonism. I was absolutely blindsided and caught off guard and being in a highly vulnerable state I said nothing until he said “What do you think of evangelicals supporting Trump?” I lost it and ended up yelling and my SIL exploded into tears and I was made out to being the bad guy because of my reaction.
Suicide is so very complex and painful and in my experience losing my brother was and has been much more painful than losing my mother to natural causes and I was very, very close to my mother. This man was so terribly cruel and insensitive that I went to counseling to help me deal with it and I’m still not over it 3 months later. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it and have made it clear I never want to be around him again and thankfully my husband agrees with me.
Trying to dissuade someone of their faith and then criticizing their religion during the most difficult times of one’s life is inexcusable and unforgivable.
Jeanne September 14, 2019 at 8:11 pm
I have not lost my believe in God, but I do not understand him. We were attending a Penecostal church when my mom died of cancer. We were learning of healing, and I thought surely God will heal her because she has a strong faith and is doing such good in the world. When she wasn’t healed, I think I just stayed in shock, not knowing how God worked anymore. Then my older sister died of cancer as well. Again I was believing in a healing. She actually died 5 years earlier than the doctors expected. Then my dad died of a drowning and my little sister of liver failure. Are we wrong to believe in healing? I don’t know how to pray for anyone when they have a life threatening health problems.. When praying, my mind goes right to my family members for which I prayed for a healing. What do I do with this? It’s been 36 years since my lost my mom and the last family death of my little sister, just three years ago. Again, I haven’t lost my belief in Him, but I am shaken. How do I pray and what should my expectations be.
JULES October 18, 2019 at 8:37 pm
I can relate to your issue. My hubby passed on 14 sept 2019 and both of us including our girls were praying for healing and yet God seemed silent. During his stay at the hospital my hubby was so positive n even claim his healing in Jesus name every day. My “wounded” faith till now make me hesitant to pray for healing. But still I believe God is sovereign n Almighty.
Becca September 23, 2020 at 5:50 am
I don’t have an answer but I hear you. I don’t have the answers about healing because I have also lost loved ones although I haven’t experienced anything like you. I know God loves and accepts me and comforts me although I can hardly pray for health miracles. I believe he loves each one of us although we are not healed many times. I wish I could believe more but I fall back into His arms anyway with whatever amount I believe or don’t believe and sense his great love for me anyway.
David M. Hughes August 22, 2019 at 9:07 am
I was raised as a Roman Catholic. My parents would drop me and my older sister off at the church on Sundays so we would go to church and Sunday school. As years passed my faith in God has never waned, it’s just that I stopped attending church at some point in my life.
As the years passed, I met and married a girl who my sister introduced me to her and 35 others girls from her sorority.. While in South Vietnam I wrote to 4 of them girls. Eventually I seemed to single out one girl who was just so easy to open up to about my life. Of course, I have seen death while in my 12 years and 7 months in the U. S. Army. It makes life seem so much more real.
Over time in my 42 years of marriage we had two wonderful sons. My wife eventually developed cancer and was put on the liver transplant list and taken off at times based on her cancer progression. Finally I lost her to cancer and I have felt lost since that day.
The toughest thing to me is my sons won’t talk about their loss, my family wants to move on with life, but I just can’t seem to resolve this loss. I still strongly believe is God and the afterlife and truly believe that one day I will again see her. There are so many more facts that go with this story but I won’t dwell.
It has been 4 years since she passed, everyone has moved on, but I just can’t seem to stop seeing her. Two things happened, one this year around her birthday. I never remember dreams, but for some reason one day I just woke and recalled a spirit all in white sleeping on my chest. I felt so comforted by it.
The second was when she was in hospice house and told us near the end an angel had visited and told her she would take care of children in heaven. As a candle was lit and a prayer was read she moved from this earth to her next stage – heaven. As a strong believer in God I have seen these signs as not a test but a proof to me that there is a higher power and it awaits us all.
Teresa Rosalez August 16, 2019 at 9:42 am
On June 19, 2019 my 2nd oldest son, lost his life in an auto accident. They say that he lost control of the vehicle and over corrected and the accident was his fault. He didn’t even need medical treatment… Only about a month before, I said to God, please don’t let death come to my children or my grandchildren I don’t think I could handle. It’s almost as if it’s been my test to see if I can handle it. Well, I’m not. I’ve been to church one time since his death, excluding his memorial service. It was all I could do to sit there. I wanted to crawl under the pew to get out because I couldn’t understand how a God that says he loves his children and if you ask it shall be done, allowed my child’s life to end. I used to sing on the praise and worship team, but I no longer have any sing left in me. I feel no desire to utter the words of songs that once moved me. I am heartbroken, as a huge piece of me is missing. I don’t know how I can ever trust again. Human father failed me and I relied on God. I had breast cancer and other health issues and through all of it, felt God had his hand on me. What kind of cruel joke is it to leave a 50 year old woman on this earth who raised her children but to allow her son to die in front of his 3 children? The middle child can tell you all about the accident and how his dad’s head was cut open and blood was everywhere. This is the greatest pain I’ve ever endured. My name is Teresa, not Job.
Becca September 23, 2020 at 5:52 am
Teresa I’m so sorry for your great pain. I’m so sorry! I wish I had words that would help. Thank you for sharing your story.
Michelle Fontanosa-Yee May 8, 2019 at 7:44 am
I believe that deep down I do believe in what/who we call “God”, and at heart, I believe in and feel love for Jesus- not because I should, but because I love his gentle, faithful spirit, and how he loved us, his brothers and sisters.
But, despite the faith that was instilled in me from an early age, I find myself not doubting as if having less of belief, but believing in more…like God is love is a spirit is in so many things and places…in anyone, anything, and anywhere there is the unifying lifeforce, energy, spirit…
I hate being judged by others who may see me as having less faith. What if, by believing both in the miracle of Jesus, AND believing in something beyond Jesus, I have not less faith, but more faith?
GaryB May 6, 2019 at 11:21 pm
I lost my world my wife of 38 years only 5 months after retirement! We both worked near 40 years each and now it was OUR TIME! But something had other plans and she was diagnosed stage 4 lung to brain cancer and in only 2 months after diagnosis she was gone!How the hell am I supposed to be with God after this? I have left him and the church. I tried for weeks after she died going to church. It was pointless- I was as alone as I am in our house we bought for retirement. I trudge through it and every day in agony. Its been 9 months and all I grieve is my loss and my desire to join her. I dont know what I think anymore. But for my wife a devout God loving Catholic a true angel in her life-nothing but good all her 62 years to have been taken from this world? NO EXCUSES! Now I sit alone in misery-she was my life. What God? If you took her and all I was asking through her illness was simply take me too-why not? Why leave me here to grieve what I have lost? The worst is to not die first because it leaves you with untold years of agony . My Dad died young at 57- My Mom lived to 92- Dont tell me this is my fate! NO.
TheDaughter July 15, 2019 at 10:53 pm
Could you please tell me in what state of grieving you are now? This is an entirely selfish question, because I simply have no answer for you. However, I would like you to know that my father is in a similar position. He is an 80 year old man who is suddenly about to lose his wife of 54 years (having been in love since they were 13 years old) to lung cancer that has quickly metastasized to her brain, breast, and lymph. He is absolutely broken and in denial. He had always assumed he would go first (as my mom’s side of the family lives into their hundreds, more often than not).
What I would really appreciate would be for you to tell me what (beyond the supernatural) would have helped you the most in those first days/weeks/months? I am a teacher who cannot even imagine being center stage after my mother passes, therefore I quit my job and am caring for my mom on hospice…but it is almost more difficult to try to figure out how to be there for my dad. I would really appreciate any response. I am truly sorry for your loss and for the timing that must feel absolutely unfair. I am also sorry for this question, but then at times of loss (albeit less great) I’ve felt that writing out a reply or a comment or a journal entry, turned out to be the most unburdening option that ended up presenting itself. Thank you for your time. I hope you have found some small grain of peace in your days.
Tiffany August 4, 2019 at 2:31 pm
I must say that I know how you feel. I lost my 19 year old daughter to murder in 2016. Before she passed, the question if God exist and many other thoughts that I now have never existed. Now, it is an everyday question, everyday thoughts. On top of dealing with the grief of loosing my baby, there is no justice for her murder. It is an ongoing investigation. I am so lost and confused with life. Like you, I tried going to church a few times after it happened but I could not do it. It was not the same. Giving praise and being told I have to forgive, and hearing those phrases as mentioned in the above passage….none of that works for me. I am so lost…
Rita Lewis October 5, 2019 at 8:46 am
Gary, Our circumstances are very similar as well as pur thoughts about the untimely passings of our loved ones. My beloved and planned and dreamef of a second honeymooned retirement reliving our youthful loving dreams..however God had other plans on New Years Eve 2015 i planned on seeing that handsome 64 year young, love of my life greeting me. That did not happen this New Years Eve. I opened the door and smiled as i saw a romantic dinner made, a vase of beautiful red roses. I ran through the house excitedly calling his name with no answer. Finally the moment my world was slowly dying as I gasped not wanting to frighten him as he was dying, lying on the bathroom floor, paralyzed on his right side trying to say something to me. He later passed from a massive stroke. I said I loved him, begged him to not leave me as I dialed 911 and ran next door to get a neighbor’s help. No one will ever understand the way we feel suffering such uncomprehensible pain. Pain that never leaves, ever present, and at times drives one ti temporary madness. To those who are willing to give the trite and trivial words of advice, please say you will pray for our loved ones, because as they give those words of”comfort” they leave us and go home with their lives still in tact. I will never recover from my husband’s passing. I grieve with every beat of my broken heart. Look to the future?? I did that and it didn’t work as we planned. I have no future these days
Just awaiting my time to hopefully see him, only then will I be truly happy.
Estella Cocke January 11, 2020 at 12:44 am
You have the right to be astray from God. After so many yrs. of you being in prayer and offerings this isn’t right at all. I have always had my faith until she died
Honestly I don’t know where she is what prove do we have other than the tsunamis of many that claim no real facts. I’ve always been told God is and will always be .. if that being the case he needed something to do with his time. Who in their right mind sends their son only to be tortured and put to death? All done so he could get the word of God and have everybody in the world to praise him and glorify him, wow sounds like he’s sitting back getting a hell of a show watching the earth in chaos, choosing who, when& how he wants not giving a dam about anybody left behind. I’ve traveled to some of the poorest places and watch documentaries with children starving, deseases, abuse begging on streets for crumbs so they can eat. I’ve been told that’s not God’s work it’s just the disruption and cycles of entire world of corruption. In other words it’s all our fault. I can’t help but to laugh going back to Adam and Eve so what fo young people do when they are not allowed to do something ? Yup they do it and for that he has made everybody life a living hell starting with our ancestors. I believe in a higher power but for me his name isn’t God. I’m a messed up mess since mama died she was my life and i honestly don’t know where she went. Use to believe she was safe in heaven but that’s bc of the brain wash from society especially the church.
Theresa April 27, 2019 at 2:16 pm
I know this is years old, but I came across it today.
No matter how it feels to you, someone asking when you are coming back, or moving on while you are grieving, is not necessarily wanting to hurt you, or thinking only of themselves. They may not know what else to say. They may be wanting to distract you with work or whatever. They can’t read minds.
They may be afraid something is wrong, or could be, with your health, mental or emotional.
Eight years ago next month, a large tornado tore through Joplin, MO, hours after HS graduation. Several people were killed. Many others were injured.
Reminders of that tragic time begin in late Apri/early May, and go through the month and beyond. No one is suggesting or has suggested that the people and things and animals lost or injured during that time should be forgotten. There are permanent displays honoring them and those that helped for the months and years afterwards.
But when years later, the pain and grief are consistently as fresh as if it just happened – and I’m not referencing the person above who cried all night fourteen years after losing their loved one – then it’s long past time for them to seek help.
You can get stuck in grief. That you are wrapped in it, feeling it, does not necessarily mean that you don’t need help dealing with it, or that others can not be concerned about you. Again, we can’t read your mind.
ks April 2, 2019 at 10:39 am
I have always battled with God on this bc how can he love me when I am in such pain? What proves he loves me more then the flowers and bird’s? I am sick of hearing that. I have had a series of bad relationships filled with abuse- some of it even being my parents ignoring it all- and my sister dying just seems like another kick. I don’t feel love. I know my sister is in heaven, out of pain, etc etc but where is God in the aftermath? I cannot move on bc I am traumatized. I need some explaining, answers, sense! I need to feel his presence and comfort- and i don’t. Verses are not enough to calm me down, take my pain away. I want to but it feels like a mock, a lie. My dad actually told me it was a sin to still be grieving before a year had even come!!!! I understand he sees it as anger or questioning God’s control in our lives, and sees that as wrong. But- So- I am sinful, I am wrong? – it’s hurtful, it’s a shut up and a slap in the face to be told that! A complete lack of understanding and open, honest communication. If he is there already- good, but I am not. I can’t make myself and I am not a horrible person bc of it. It is not right for him to dictate how the rest of the family grieves. It doesn’t allow me to process this. This hurts as much as my sister forever being gone does. I don’t know what I can say in front of him, out loud, when he will say more hurtful things- and when will I not be able to control my emotions? So far I have just shut down bc I don’t want to be hurtful back-but it is a struggle. I honestly feel a lot of how my sister’s death happened, the details taking is through it, is bc of my father’s relationship with my sister, his inability to be honest about the hard stuff. Its always on his terms and any differences are wrong. Sinful is a strong word. I feel he meant it strongly, to put me down to stop me, and it did, but it didnt stop my thoughts… It does damage. I feel overwhelmed with sadness and this just adds to it.
Barbara P Bunch March 12, 2019 at 5:27 am
On Monday, February 25, my sister was violently hit by a 24 year old little girl making a left turn while my sister had the light, was in the crosswalk, with the right of way. Thursday night, February 28, my sister died as a result of injuries she sustained as a result of that little girl’s choice to not drive responsibly, so for all intents & purposes, she killed my sister, & as a christian, & a minister, I’m unable to completely forgive her 100% just yet, & I’m learning that it is indeed a very painful process to go through. My man has been so patient, supportive & understanding that it’s almost scary, & I know I’m blessed, I just wish wish I could get the one thing back I never will, my little sister.
Vartan Agnerian February 20, 2019 at 2:01 pm
By faith and by God’s grace go I ‘
A recent widow’ after 44 years of a contented ‘ romantic’ marriage and – old days gone by – type partnership’ it is terribly terribly difficult suddenly to face this new reality of being just me’ no more a couple’ no more a pair’
I continuously cry and weep in secret’ in private’ not to worry our two sons’ and not to add more concern for me in their daily responsibilities’
I feel the void ‘ the immense emptiness deep within my soul’ I feel lost ‘ I feel drained and aimless’
As one blogger put it so well’ ” All the days start and finish the same, They begin and end without you ” / ” But now’ your eyes can’t pour over me ‘ the way they used to’ But now there’s only nothingness’ where your loving gaze once was ” –
The only little break is when I read yours and other fellow grievers blogs of their various grief stories’ and the personal ways each try to find , to cope with the unchangeable fact of our beloved ones deaths’ of their forever absence from our life story and togetherness . . .
GL September 29, 2020 at 4:59 pm
I get it, Laura! My wife of 49 and a half years recently died. She was my only love. We met as teenagers and it’s just been us ever since. I nursed her through seven years of cancer, and the hole in my life is dark, massive and a vacuum. I have a strong faith in the resurrection. I know she is safe. It is me that I mourn for. It’s only been 8 weeks but i wake up crying and the grief seems to be getting worse, not better as the weeks go on.
Amy January 28, 2019 at 12:06 am
I am struggling with grief and sorrow over things I never had….the unconditional love of parents (even though they were physically present, there was emotional neglect). Grief over my only sibling, a sister who has never wanted anything to do with me, even though I craved a relationship. I married someone emotionally absent that led us through a chaotic lifestyle with job changes, moves, financial stress and hardships. I feel like I was so stressed most of the time, I missed enjoying my children’s youngest years (something I had really looked forward to enjoying). The stress and pressure continued throughout the years. But I tried to put on a “happy” face so my children didn’t have to experience what I did during my childhood (an angry distant mother and father)….but the consequences of that have been that my children don’t understand the losses and grief I have gone through, and think I am the “problem” in the relationship now,(not my emotionally and physically absent ex husband–he traveled most of our marriage and caused all the disruption) because I finally am just not coping well anymore–at some point you just can’t keep the facade up anymore. But because I appeared OK at the time, I can’t even explain what the grief and losses were because then it looks like I am playing the blame game. I have grief over the time and joy that was robbed from me. However, I am hopeful that God will restore me and the “years the locusts ate”–I think that is the verse. I just long for peace and rest, and for what is coming after this life.
Ellie December 15, 2018 at 7:25 pm
I guess I am doing something wrong, I always had a faith, but since I lost my ex husband a month ago I don’t believe in anything. To me it seems that this world is all about death. If you think about nothing can live without something else has to die to sustain it. What kind of God could have created such a place. I don’t know any answers but I am very sad.
Becca September 23, 2020 at 5:56 am
Your comment brings tears to my eyes because I can connect to sadness and not having answers. We are there together right now. I find hope in faith but I relate to your sadness. I am sorry it is so hard and all encompassing at times. I hear you and am feeling it with you right now. Thank you for sharing.
sherry lugard December 5, 2018 at 5:33 pm
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Kathy davis July 10, 2018 at 3:13 am
I so needed to read this to understand my conflicting emotions. My mother passed away 3 weeks ago, and I sensed that the pastor was admonishing me for lack of faith when I exhibited grief at her funeral. I have been questioning my lack of faith since. My mother was so faithful to her God, and knew absolutely where she was going. Makes me feel as though I have betrayed her memory.
Wendy July 14, 2017 at 8:49 pm
My ex husband passed away at 47 of a heart attack a few months ago. We were married for 20 years and he is the father of my two sons, ages 21 and 13. The pain of watching my children suffer has been the hardest thing in my life. I am also very sad. We were not getting along at the time but he was my first love. I have not moved on even after many years of being divorced. I had children to raise and no time to date.
I wonder if anyone else has gone through this. I guess it’s complicated grief????
Whatever it is…it’s awful and I hope someone has some advice. I feel so alone in my grief because he was my ex.
Moira McCullough May 13, 2017 at 5:03 pm
My sister who was 6 years older than me was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour last April. She became forgetful and confused, after a couple of falls at home, she was admitted to a large teaching hospital in the place where they lived and I visited a couple of times. Then after yet another scan, they found that the tumour had spread and was pressing on her brain, so more drugs and a move to a small unit in my home town, I visited her every evening, I helped her with her supper because by the July, she could not lift or coordinate getting a fork or spoon into her mouth. I sang songs to her that we learnt as children, I prayed with her and my church’s Deacon came to visit her with me one day. Then towards the end of July, the family decided that as she was failing fast that she shouldn’t be woken up to be fed, that was hard for me as although I’m retired now, I was a nurse. My niece and I visited her the day before she died and I said to my niece on the way through the ward, (my sister was in a little room at the end of the ward and we were out of her earshot by this time) that I thought death might be imminent, the senior ward sister came over to us and said the same, my niece drove me home and rang her Dad from my place. She stayed for a bite to eat and her Dad drove over to the hospital, where my niece met him. My sister died the next morning. I miss her SO much. Whenever I bought any new clothes, she came with me. We spoke often on the phone. We lost our Dad 27 years ago and our Mum 10 years ago, I feel as if my arm has been wrenched off. I have 2 caring sons and a supportive niece, who tells me that she couldn’t have got through it all without me. When my sister died, so many people sent me flowers and cards. We got through her funeral and here we are 9 months later. I talk to her still as I do my Mum but it’s very hard. My niece asks me when the pain will stop, I tell her that it will ease with time but it will never go away. Thank you for the lovely things that you have said and for letting me tell you all this.
Becca September 23, 2020 at 5:58 am
Thank you for sharing your story. I don’t feel alone when others talk about their grief.
Vicki B January 5, 2016 at 5:22 pm
God. One year later and you’re supposed to be mostly “together?” I must be absolutely horrific then because I cried all last night and it’s fourTEEN years later. I cried about something I’ve never been allowed to show online or anywhere else but with this guy I was staying with who’s extended family to me both legally and according to his own open heart policy. He’s legally my daughter’s godfather, he became that when her dad died on September 11, 2001. But he considers himself or me part of his family because she is, although I’m not legally related to him. I’m not related to much of ANYone by blood (I’m adopted & didn’t really know my blood relatives until they became adults) so mostly the way I relate to family is by legal fictions. Stephen King called divorce that “if you still have feelings for the spouse” and I thought it was a great idea, that it applied to my case so I apply it. I’m legally related to the Gleasons but have feelings for the other family, so it’s a legal fiction.
Anyway he’s the only one who probably would have listened to me try to explain how I felt about what they did not just to me (by killing her dad) but what it caused to happen to her, which I considered worse than anything they could do to me. I tried to explain by saying “words can’t describe what it’s like to see your child in pain, as much as she was in when I had to be the one to tell her he’s never coming back at a time I didn’t even believe it myself.” There was no physical evidence whatsoever to even confirm his death the way the government prefers to confirm such things and for some bizarre reason I couldn’t even believe he really WAS dead. It makes no logical sense when you consider the fact I was a paramedic and firefighter even then (well a firefighter & EMT-Intermediate); it should have been dead obvious that after ten days they weren’t going to find any living remains but something really strange happened to me. I lost all ability to even use the reasoning part of my mind. I thought some miracle had occurred and that we should wait to see. I didn’t want him coming back and seeing his own death certificate. Two months later I still thought that way. I swear I don’t understand what happened to me at all. But then it took almost 10 MORE years to even believe he truly wasn’t returning.
On the morning they killed Osama bin Laden my daughter called me in the middle of the night to tell me about it. One of the first things she said was “I guess this means he really isn’t coming back.”
Thinking she was referring to bin Laden I said “Well they shot him in the head and have confirmed it’s really him, so no, he isn’t coming back.”
“I was talking about my dad,” she replied. “Until this happened I thought it must have been some mistake and that dad could come back. Now I seem to know in a more convincing way that he won’t be returning.”
I had no response, not knowing what the hell you say to that.
I just think I look like I’m awfully slow at processing this particular loss. I’ve had other that haven’t seemed near as difficult to manage.
Richard, the guy I talked to about it, appears to be the only person who can listen to things like this – especially in the middle of the night – and NOT make judgments of me. Maybe some people in his own age group have a real ‘issue’ with him for going to Vietnam but I happen to think that’s the very reason he can listen to me while they CAN’T deal with it. So I just plain like him and feel utterly grateful to him for being able to be with me without judging me during my darkest hours.
Brenda August 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm
I am an Episcopal priest and also a recent widow. In our Book of Common Prayer, we have the following written with our funeral service:
“The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised.
“The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that ‘neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ [Romans 8:38-39]
“This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.”
Whenever I preside over a funeral, I always read those paragraphs aloud and also include them in the leaflet.
Litsa August 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm
These are wonderful and comforting words, Rev. Brenda. Thank you so much for sharing! It is wonderful to know you are sharing this with families. I have no doubt it is reassuring to them in their grief!
Donna August 6, 2019 at 12:34 pm
Litza, he was no longer your husband doesn’t mean he was no longer a person or the father of your children or someone you knew well (intimately) any one of those is enough to grieve for him. Look at it this way, he has friends, co-workers ect. that are missing him why shouldn’t someone who was so close at one time miss him. Give your self the green light to grieve, then if needed seek someone outside the “judgemental realm” to talk to about that missing him, deep sick sad feeling in you.
Sandra July 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm
We just have recently lost my grandma who has lived with us and faith is very important to us (or at least to me) to deal with her very sudden and unexpected dead. I don’t think “those who believe don’t need to grief”, we are all grieving in different ways, but faith in something may help. I was brought up in the believe that there is a life after death and that death is the beginning of a new life, which does not make missing a person any less sad, but it helps (me) to deal better with the pain that she won’t come back home. There will always moments missing somebody, missing coming home and nobody opens the door, nobody receiving your packages, nobody putting your clothes inside, when it starts to rain, but as we’ve talked to our priest, it’s about embracing these moments and turning them into something positive and knowing they are in a better place now, which helps a lot to accept the loss. It also helps a lot that we know she was not afraid of death and believed in being reunited with her family in heaven. Maybe like in Johnny Cash’s “will the circle be unbroken” or “we’ll meet again”.
Susie July 1, 2014 at 6:33 pm
I have been wrestling with this very question for about a month now. Thank you for this post. It was comforting to hear these words, ” It is a normal reaction to a devastating situation that can co-exist with the comfort of one’s faith and spirituality.” Kay Warren’s story was very meaningful as have been the comments on this page. Thank you!
Belle July 1, 2014 at 5:20 pm
Though I walk a different path then most, I do understand both sides of the grief issue.
It is unreasonable to expect anyone to “move on” after the loss of a child. I am blessed that I do not know this first hand, but my Sister, two Cousins and a Dear Friend have. I know they wake each morning and for a brief time, think that everything is OK. Then they crash back into reality. It will never be OK like it was, life might be bearable, but that beloved child is in spirit.
That said, I have also some frustrations. Some folks are so wrapped up in their grief and use it a sole perspective. Anything difficult in your life for instance, like right now I have Shingles for the second time in my life, my 24 year old son was diagnosed with a Hereditary Iron Disorder in Nov. 2013; since he cannot drink like his peers (look up Celtic Curse online for info on this disease that is the most common genetic disease in the US) he started to use drugs, not just the marijuana that may actually help his symptoms, but drugs to ease his pain. He lost his job, and last month was arrested. He goes to Court tomorrow, and I hope he gets off, simply because he was driving someone getting marijuana, and the police who did a “routine” traffic stop on him, held Guns on he and his passenger. Guns for a traffic stop. Then there was the 8 hours handcuffed at the Precinct without being allowed to make a phone call. Anyhow, prayers he gets a break tomorrow. He is clean and sober now. But my point is that one person who’s hand I held after her daughter’s death. Who I used to send an ecard to every Monday night – her daughter went into spirit on a Tuesday AM – who I told via email of my shingles resurgence. Emailed me again after 3 weeks to see if every thing was OK. And I told her Again, what was going on. This person who I was there for after the first year, the second year, the third year, the fourth and yes, fifth. She did not reply. I guess my role was to always be the Rock and support her and I think that is wrong. I think that some folks may wrap themselves up in their grief and use it as an excuse to be, say a shitty friend (pardon my language). I am trying not to confront her on this, but I really do ask myself, at what point does the person who is bereaved, become a despot in a relationship and always expect the empathy, when they are no longer capable of even saying: “Wow, that really is crappy.”
Obviously you can delete this if it is inappropriate. I just needed to get that off my chest. The Death of a loved one changes people. But it does not give them the right to be the exclusive receiver of support. Sometimes it actually helps with grief to share and to give, and I hope my friend (or perhaps ex-friend) finds that place for herself.
Stephanie Root July 1, 2014 at 11:40 am
thank you Toni for the ocean analogy. I have been saying for some time that “skillful” grieving is about learning to surf the waves.
Toni Jones July 1, 2014 at 8:22 am
From my own experince with grief (grandmother passed away 2 days before my wedding. It will be 2 years in October), I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned that grief is like being in an ocean. There are some parts that are really deep and dark, there are other parts that are shallow and lighter and there are waves. During the first year after her passing, grief was more deep, dark and full of waves. I would be doing something random (i.e. shopping in Target) and would awashed in grief and tears and completely feel like it wasn’t ever going to be better. Then there were other times when I could laugh and remeber how much fun she and I had. It was like a roller coaster, with ups and downs. And that’s how grief is. It goes up and down. There are good days and there are not so good days.
When I work with clients (I’m a therapist), I tell them that grief is like losing a limb. Sure, you can live without an arm or leg and the rest of your body will still function but that will never negate the fact that you miss the absent limb. It was there, functioning as a part of you and now it’s gone. In it’s absence, you have to learn to live without it and that takes time. So does grief.
Litsa July 1, 2014 at 8:29 am
I agree, Toni. CS Lewis makes that analogy about grief and I have always thought it was a great analogy. Funny you mention crying in Target- I wrote a post about that very thing!! So, needless to say I can relate https://www.whatsyourgrief.com/crying-in-public/
Jordan February 2, 2017 at 3:03 pm
Beth, thank you so much for all of your amazing posts. Your site has helped me so much already and much of my family too. Oh, and I cried on the plane on the way into Texas just this morning!
Ann June 30, 2014 at 1:50 pm
I lost my son in 2000, in his birthday month, just a month after my other son’s wedding. Of my three children, he’s the one who “got” me, enjoyed spending time with me, and talked freely with me. While I take comfort that we had no regrets of unspoken words, 14 years later, I still miss his welcoming presence in my life. I found that people let you talk about your grief for just so long and then it is necessary to find a professional to spill over on. I found the film Moonlight Mile very therapeutic, especially the parts about thoughtless well meaning people giving books and spouting platitudes. There is a great book for children of all ages that is laid out like a picture book called Tear Soup, which has to do with all of us having our own recipes and cooking times for our very own Tear Soup.
Ruth June 30, 2014 at 10:34 am
My husband passed away six months ago (on Christmas Eve). I wrote a blog post last week about some of my feelings/thoughts, and it seems to go well with this discussion.
I mentioned that I continually find myself coming back to the question, “What does ‘grieving with hope’ look like here?” At first it seemed like a simple knowing that my husband is with the Lord, and that truly brought much comfort and even joy in the midst of the pain, especially in the earlier months of grief. But as things settle in more, I tend to keep redefining that phrase. I am realizing, as you pointed out, that grief is about my experience of loss and feeling his absence, not a pain or sympathy for where he is. So I can say with equal intensity that my grief is hard and overwhelming right now, but my faith and hope are strong. I do think people tend to have a difficult time reconciling those extremes at once, and I definitely have felt the lessening of understanding and support of grief as more time has passed. (Maybe that’s part of why I wrote the blog post in the first place. . . I feel like I have been thrust into the position of a “grief educator” because so few people want to talk about it or admit that it lasts more than a few weeks.)
I always appreciate your blog and am thankful for how you addressed this topic. I appreciate Pastor Moody’s comments as well!
Hank Moody June 30, 2014 at 9:47 am
I am a pastor. Part of my responsibility is to help people grieve in the light of Christian hope. We need to remember that Jesus grieved the death of his dear friend Lazarus (whom he would restore to life in a matter of moments). We also need to think of how the late Granger Westburg dealt with that 1 Thess. passage in his wonderful little book GOOD GRIEF.
Litsa June 30, 2014 at 9:49 am
Pastor Moody, thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for your service to grieving congregants!
Stephanie Root June 30, 2014 at 9:46 am
This article reflected my experience well. Two main things for me. My husband’s very sudden death and the experiences around it increased my faith. And I was surprised that I could feel so peaceful about his departure in a spiritual sense and still have so much to grieve. The first year or so of grieving there was an anchor on my heart, but friendships deepened and my sense of connection was huge. The next phase was/is harder. My friends moved on. I truly am not sure if it was my friends or my expectations on myself–but I found it harder to ask for what I needed. Or perhaps it was because I had moved to grieving the million little things that are part of a loving partnership–like a thank you for emptying the dishwasher and the ongoing opportunities for reflection on everything. Hard to call a friend for those tiny but important things. . I am filling the gaps in ways others often find difficult to understand, but I honor what works for me.