Dear Friends,

I’m very aware that there are always new people who might be reading what I happen to write about grief. Most often, when someone is reading something written on grief, they are either still actively grieving or someone they love is, and they are searching for help.

I fully realize though I am a certified grief recovery specialist and have been facilitating a grief group for 25 years, and have written a lot about grief, including the books, MYFOREVER MEMORIES OF YOU, I am not an expert on your grief. Your grief is very personal because the one you are missing is unique and one-of-a-kind just as your relationship with them is. Please do not ever think that I am telling you how to grieve, either in the form of this blog or in the books I’ve put together. (The books are designed for you to write your memories in, to actively work through your personal grief.) My purpose and inspiration for writing about grief is to offer you eternal hope in the midst of your pain.

I used to tell those who came to the group I facilitated that I hoped they never felt guilty for not coming each week, and that I certainly hoped they wouldn’t be coming forever. Not only have I grieved deeply and discovered I could go on in life but I have seen many others begin to find joy again when they believed they never could.

There comes a time when you may feel guilty for laughing or enjoying something—that perhaps because of the deep love you have for them, you should honor them by grieving forever. Obviously, there will be times throughout your life when grief pops up as you miss them and the relationship you had with them or as you wish they could experience a certain thing with you. They will always be with you as you travel on in this life. They have forever become a part of your life. Even when you know you will be reunited someday, you just wish you could have them today. Yet, the deep grief does not need to last the rest of your lifetime. As you come to terms with their departure, you can remember and be incredibly grateful without letting grief rule the rest of your life.

I recall having a dream/vision of heaven with Steve (my first husband) showing me around. (Sorry I do not recall the specific details, but I do believe it somehow happened. Whenever I started to feel guilty about enjoying life again, I remembered that he was enjoying his new life so much more than I ever could here on this earth. It helped me to feel free to savor each day here and to also look forward to the future.

I know you must grieve, but I pray that as you work through your precious memories, and realize the impact your loved one has had on your life, and are grateful for whatever time you were able to have with them—that you are able to grieve with hope. The hope that our Lord is will never ever leave you, that He walks with you, and that you can go on living this life because of the promise of eternal life found in Jesus Christ.

All my love and prayers.

“I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.”   John 16:20

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