I just attended the beautiful memorial service for my dear friend Belinda’s husband. (I believe the photo above is the last taken while James still had breath. Jesus was about to take the other hand to take him Home!) He was a very young 51-year-old. Until the last few months of his life, he was incredibly healthy. Up until the end he was the strong, protective, provider super-hero of their family. (He always will be!) They have three young adult daughters and not long ago added a set of siblings- three young boys who needed a family. Though I know without a doubt my friend James is free and living a life we all can only dream of, I can’t help but weep for Belinda and each of her children. I know a lot of what they must go through. As much as I want, I cannot take away their pain and grief. It’s something each one of them will have to go through in their own way. How I wish I could help!

That’s the whole reason I led a weekly grief support group for over twenty years. Grief is such a personal experience for each person because their relationship with their loved one is so unique and personal. I saw how much having a place to simply voice emotions and tell the story of their one-of-a –kind relationship was to so many who came to the group. It took courage for those who came to make that step, but there were so many who just couldn’t or didn’t want to go to a group setting. As I continued to pray for those who I knew were grieving, I believe the Lord placed on my heart the thought of a “grief support group” in a book. It is a blend of me sharing raw excerpts from my personal grief/prayer journal, a place for the griever to share their personal stories, thoughts and prayers, and for God’s encouragement and ever steady presence during one of the most painful times in each person’s life. In other words, it would be a “grief support group between the Lord, the grieving person and me.” It can be done in the privacy of your own home, at your own pace—even in the middle of the night when a lot of grieving is most intense. And now, the Lord opened up a My Forever Memories Grief group on Facebook.

I gave my sweet friend Belinda a book. I know it won’t take away the pain. Yet I pray that as she reads how the Lord lead me through my grief, and writes about her own amazing story, she will see how the Lord is right there closer than ever. He will never leave her or forsake her (or her children). He will hold her hand and walk her through the valley of the shadow of death and bring her out into a joy and hope that is more precious than she can imagine. I also gave her the children’s book for her young boys to fill out as their own personal memory book of their awesome dad who will forever be their superhero. There is no way I can walk beside Belinda and all the others I personally know (as well as those I have never met) as they grieve, but there is more love than can be measured in these books. There are continued prayers that each person finds the support and hope they need to express their own grief and find the eternal hope of Jesus Christ. I have no doubt that my sweet friend Belinda will find all the eternal help she needs one day at a time as she carries the great gift of love she and James shared throughout her journey Home.

Love and Prayers

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