Dear friends,

Some of you are dealing not only with the death of your loved one, but you are facing all that comes with a violent death. Perhaps it was a suicide, a traumatic accident or a murder. I wanted to encourage you today. Death is such a shock anyway. Even when you know it might happen, you’re never quite prepared for its reality. God created our minds and spirits for eternity- not for death. There are times life is cut short in a very violent traumatic occurrence.

When that happens, we not only are dealing with the sudden loss of our loved one’s presence, but we have to come to terms with the violent activity that caused it. There are so many emotions that happen with a violent death. There are times we are haunted by the last moments our loved one had to endure. There could be guilt that we didn’t see it coming or couldn’t protect them. Unanswered questions have to be wrestled with. Things out of our control must be eventually let go. Nightmares of what they must have gone through keep flashing in our minds. These are all issues that call out to be dealt with and somehow accepted so we can eventually go forward with our lives. Writing out your true feelings and emotions in a prayer journal to the Lord are one of the very best ways to deal with all these issues. Even if you don’t get all the answers you would like, you will receive His help and peace as you continually hold all these crazy emotions before Him. (There are some important chapters in the My Forever Memories of You book which can help you work through your own personal emotions related to violent deaths.)

When one of my loved ones committed suicide, it was as though time was split in half—before and after his death. It is amazing what the Lord can help you heal from. There is no pain, no wound, no trauma, no violence that can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus. In our very last breath—no matter what caused the death, Jesus is there. Death in all its forms is a result of sin in this world. God’s desire is for us to have eternal life. The thief on the cross next to Jesus was dying a violent death. He asked Jesus to remember him and Jesus promised, as they both were dying, that he would be with Him that day in paradise. Take comfort in knowing that the Lord was with your loved one in their very last moment no matter who or what caused their death. He is also with you, my friend, as you deal with the violent death of your loved one. Ask for His peace and He will give you that peace that goes beyond comprehension.

Love and prayers

“No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.”  Isaiah 60:19-20

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers , neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:35-39

Good morning, dear friends!

I know Mother’s Day is on a lot of your minds. It is a hard day for so many of you who have lost your wife, mom, an infant, or an adult or young child.

A lot of these special days can be painful. Sometimes the anticipation of the pain is almost worse than how it turns out. Other times, it can be extremely challenging as you watch others celebrate with their loved ones who are still with them. There will be a temptation to be angry, bitter or envious.

It is best to have some kind of plan in place. However you used to celebrate this day, it has definitely changed and you cannot make it go back the way it was–no matter how badly you want to. But you can certainly make a simple plan how you will face this day and still honor your loved one in some way. The following are simply examples. You may come up with something as unique as your precious loved one.

 

*Plant a rose bush or some other perennial type flower in their honor.

*Write them a Mothers’ Day letter or card telling them what you appreciate about them.

*If you lost a baby or child, write a letter with all your dreams and hopes you had for them.

*Write a letter to the Lord telling Him thank You for the gift He gave you through them.

*Go to church to thank God for the gift He gave you in them.

*Wear something that signifies them in your life (necklace, white flower, a hat…) Be ready to tell others you are wearing it for them. That’s all you have to say unless you want to say more.

*If you are ready (and only if and when) you could give something of theirs to another mom or child in remembrance of them

*Or get them a gift you know they would like and find someone to give it to.

*Eat their favorite meal.

*Watch their favorite movie or read their favorite book.

Yes, some of these or other things you might have thought of, sound painful but it will actually help in the long run. It is important to review your life together, no matter how long or short the time you had with one another. One of the most important purposes of grief is to reflect and be able to be thankful for their life. When you do that, it helps you be able to find a way to go on until you are reunited forever.

Also, don’t feel guilty for taking a break from grief to laugh, smile and enjoy a moment. I won’t say “Happy Mothers’ Day” but I will pray that it becomes a richer, deeper, more meaningful day because of the love you share with your loved one.

Love and prayers.

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her…” Proverbs 31:28