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help adults and children while grieving

Here is a peek at Chapter 2 of My forever Memories of You [The Story of our Relationship- Discovering Eternal Hope in the Midst of Grief]

The World Should Stop!

“It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out in a loud voice, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.” Luke 23:44-46

Sharing Our Experiences

My experiences will be completely different than yours because you are completely different than me, and there’s never been anyone else exactly like our loved ones—not ever before, not now and or ever again! I share my experience with you so you’ll know someone else has made it through grief and so that you’ll know I understand and care about you. No one should try to compare whose grief is worse or more intense. It’s your grief. No one else has shared the unique relationship you had with the one you love. This grief you are experiencing is not so much for your loved one because their pain and suffering are finished. We grieve for ourselves as we experience the huge void they left in our lives.

Perhaps some of my experience might put voice to something you are feeling that you didn’t even realize. It’s still not your own experience, though. That’s why it is so important to work through your own emotions and experiences, and try to express them in the best way you can. Sharing our heart’s deepest thoughts helps us to process and learn from them. Sharing our deepest, most honest prayers with the Lord God, who created us and knows us better than we know ourselves, will help us begin to heal.

I write to share with you. May you write to share with God.

My Story- The World Should Stop!

Driving back to the church from the graveside the day of the funeral, I looked out the window of the limo at people going to work and running errands. I wanted to scream, “The world should stop!”

I looked at my poor children sitting quietly in the seats next to me and thought, “Our world has stopped.” Yet everyone was going about their normal day as if nothing had happened. They had no idea.

The world should stop because the love of my life had died! The world should stop so I could comprehend what just happened. The world should stop so I could help my children. The world should stop because it would never be the same again. The world should stop because I had no idea how to go on!

Policemen might have stopped traffic on the way to the cemetery, but it sped by faster than ever on the way back. How could life go on as usual? We drove back to the church for a memorial dinner where friends and family gathered. We had brought photo albums to share. That took away the harsh reality for a bit as we all reminisced about fun times with Steve. Laughter and hugs were passed around. Then slowly people began to get up and head for the door to return to their everyday lives.

Someone had taken the kids back to our house to hang out with cousins. There were only a few people remaining, and they were all busy cleaning up. I sat in utter shock. I think I probably looked ok on the outside, but I was completely lost on the inside. I had no idea where to go or what to do. I’ve never been so lost. I sat stunned, immovable. What seemed like hours of paralysis was probably only a few moments. Then I suddenly remembered my children were at home and needed me. I made myself get up and drive home. Although—I do not recall the drive.

Later that same day (The day of the funeral), I answered the phone when it rang. It was one of many bill collectors. We owed over a million dollars’ worth of medical bills at the time of Steve’s death. It had become part of our everyday life to deal with bill collectors. As you can imagine, we had struggled financially nonstop throughout his expensive illness. The collector started in his spiel. I interrupted him to let him know I had just buried my husband that day. He didn’t seem to care one bit and continued rudely pushing for money. I hung up on him, but was once again reminded the world was not going to stop to let me grieve.

The world might not stop, but I knew I needed to take time to grieve. Although I had to keep working to provide for my family, I could go slowly and take time to review the most meaningful relationship I had ever had. Even though I had to drive kids to school, cook, clean and take care of bills, I could still take this time in my life to realize how blessed I had been to have Steve in my life. I needed to look back over the meaning of his life, and to realize the great impact he had on me and others.

The world might not stop, but I was going to take time to cherish his life as I grieved.

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3

Your Story- The World Should Stop!

Write about your feelings of being left behind without your loved one. It doesn’t have to make sense or be in any order. Just write!

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“Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9b

Helpful Input- The World Should Stop!

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:2

The world definitely doesn’t stop for you to grieve, but you need to allow yourself the time and give yourself permission to. Of course, your grief will take on a different look than others’ because of who you are—and who you are grieving.

Grief often comes in waves—torrential tsunamis at first. It washes over you, taking your breath, causing you to feel like you will literally drown. You may look ok on the outside, but inside you are grasping to hold on to something solid. Some show it more on the outside, as well. Panic. Gasping. Real fears that you will drown in grief. Many times, you truly wonder if you will live through the crashing pounding waves that threaten to overtake you. Then it passes; at least giving you a momentary breather.

Then you hear a song, smell their clothes, catch a glimpse of a photo that brings on another crashing wave. Will you drown in your grief, in your tears? Hold on and ride the wave. After the first several bouts of waves, you realize that they will not kill you. Just as there is a beginning, there is also an end to the wave. As you travel through your grief, you will slowly begin to realize the waves begin to get smaller with a little more time in between waves. It helps so much to hold on to the Lord as those waves crash over you. Write to Him. Tell Him what you are going through. He will never leave you.

“I will turn the rivers into islands and dry up the pools. I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:15b-16

Even when our loved ones have to leave us, God never will. He is faithful to stay with us as we travel through the rough waters of grief. He doesn’t take it away, but leads us through. He walks through the valley of the shadow of death with us. We won’t always have to stay there, but we must travel through. There is no way around it. The more we avoid it, the longer it will take to go through.

No one else can fully understand our grief—the pain we are experiencing—the fear of being left behind. God does. He knows us deeper than we know ourselves. He knows the help we need. Our Lord doesn’t ever leave us alone in this world. He is with us no matter what we face.

Though our loved ones have passed from the troubles and trials of this world, we have not. We still have to face each day along with whatever comes our way. There are still taxes, bills, meals, health issues, children, other relationships, repairs… and much more that must be dealt with. The world doesn’t wait until we are ready to handle those things. Life keeps happening. God is with us to help us through each day. It’s easy to start thinking too far ahead. How you will handle all the rest of your life without your loved one? To face it all at once can be overwhelming. Yet we are made to go slowly and lightly through life, trusting that God is with us, giving us what we need for each day.

You may be missing your loved one more than you thought possible, but God will more than fill the huge void they left in your life. He helps you through your grief by helping you fully realize the precious gift He gave you in your loved one. Then He begins to help you see that He is there to fill that huge hole with Himself through the gift He gave you in Jesus Christ. Keep turning to the Lord through your grief and He will bring you out into new life. Even when the world doesn’t stop, the Lord will stop with you and help you through.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18

Practical Ideas- The World Should Stop!

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b

Take time to grieve by looking through photos, letters, cards. Appreciate the love you shared.

Take a break from grieving by doing something fun.(Yet don’t use constant entertainment to avoid grieving)

Listen to music you both liked.

Let others know you need time to grieve. If they invite you somewhere, let them know you may not be up to it when the time comes. Grief can cause a change of emotions as often as every few minutes for a while.

List things you are thankful to have shared with your loved one.

Thank God for the great qualities you saw in your loved one.

Be easy on yourself as you face daily challenges without your loved one. Realize it will not always be this hard.

Gather good advice on handling issues without your loved one. Once you have counsel, pray about it and take your time making decisions. Don’t let others rush you.

When possible, postpone any major decisions for at least a year such as selling your house, car, moving out of state. There are real life situations when this is not possible. Be sure to pray your way through.

Listen to Christian music; read scripture; have daily devotions (GriefShare sends out great free daily devotions for grievers in the form of emails)

Don’t give your loved one’s personal items away until you are ready. Make sure the timing is right for you.

Try to realize others have to go forward in their lives and can’t completely stop for yours.

Take time to pray and write in a prayer journal every day. God has all eternity to listen and is never too busy.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Interactive Workpage- The World Should Stop!

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34

How can I set aside time to grieve every day for a while? (work through this book, write in a prayer journal, take a quiet walk each day…)

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Who do I need to let know that I need to grieve my way?

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What decisions do I have to make now?

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What decisions can I wait on?

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Which areas do I need immediate help with? (paying bills, balancing checkbook, lowering bills..)

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Can I, or do I want to take time off from work? How long? (Realize you will not be as productive for a while. Great amounts of energy are required to grieve)

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What activities can I cut back on to make it easier to go through grief?

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Which activities do I want to maintain to keep a daily routine going?

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“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

Prayer Journal- The World Should Stop!

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” Romans 8:26-27

My Prayer Journal- The World Should Stop!

(note- These prayers contain combined excerpts from my personal prayer journal. My unedited prayer journals often ramble or repeat out of urgency–so if yours do, don’t worry. Pour your heart out to the Lord)

Father,

My world has been torn in two… before and after Steve’s death! I am incredibly weak and fragile. Does anybody realize how frail I am? It’s like being run over by a semi-truck. Maybe if I was in a wreck, people would understand my wounds. I hear a lot of people say that I look good. Sometimes that just makes me mad. I am not OK! Yet I know I will be. I don’t even know how to answer when people ask how I’m doing. I don’t even know how I’m doing. I’m trusting You, Lord, to hold my hand through this chaotic time. I am used to crying out to You. How else would I have made it through Steve’s all-consuming illness the last 4 years? You are my stability, my Rock, my anchor! I am holding on to You for dear life to keep from going under.

Lord, I took the kids to a science museum. My heart was not in it but they needed a break. They had a huge exhibition of Native American artifacts. The kids ran ahead, having fun, doing their own thing. I was so glad they could have a break from grieving for a while. Yet, it is in those quiet moments that I grieve the most. My eyes were drawn to a beautiful woven shawl. As I stopped to read about it, tears flowed. It was titled “The Widow’s Shawl.” When a woman lost her husband, she wore this shawl for at least a year, longer if needed. Everyone in the tribe knew she needed extra care and help during this time. They were careful with her, realizing the tremendous toll of grief. How I wish I had a shawl like that. I wouldn’t need to explain. Everyone would just know to be gentle. (Perhaps if I wore a sign?) But the world doesn’t stop! I’m just so grateful that You understand what I cannot express, Lord!

The hugs without words are the best gift people can give me… or a card with a prayer. Well-meaning advice brings out an ugly anger in me that I don’t like. I know they mean well. I’ve had to tell a few people to let me take care of my kids through this. They are my family! Other people do not know what is best for my children. I may seem weak, but You have given me a mother’s love for my kids. I know they need me! We will get through this as a family. I will not let my family fall apart after all we’ve been through. Yet I know I need Your strength, Lord. I cannot be mother and father to them. I cannot be a dad, no matter how hard I try. But You can. You promise to be the father to the fatherless. I’m counting on You to provide, protect, guide and teach my children. They are Your children even before they were Steve’s (or mine!)

Oh God! How I miss Steve’s companionship, his input, his hugs, his wisdom. He was always there to help me face any trial or obstacle (even in his illness). We decided together how to handle situations with our kids; in business; with finances; house and car repairs…Can’t the world stop with all these decisions that must be made? Doesn’t the world understand I can’t handle this much in the state I am in? I’m going to rely on You where I relied on Steve before. You will need to be my husband. I am trusting You will comfort me, guide me, provide for me, understand me and coax me.

So much in the world seems petty and insignificant now. What does having material things mean in the scheme of eternity? Lord, please use this time in my life to cut out things that don’t matter and to add what is eternal and lasting.

Heavenly Father, the world may not stop for me to come to terms with Steve’s absence…but You are always there as I take stops with You each day. I could never face this without You.

“As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” John 15:19b

Your Prayer Journal- The World Should Stop!

(Write in your prayer journal about how your world has stopped with the death of your loved one. Don’t worry about what to say…just start writing)

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My forever Memories of You [The Story of our Relationship- Discovering Eternal Hope in the Midst of Grief 

photo by my brother Rodd Moesel

Dear friends,
It was the first time I was able to go to my husband’s grave without the kids. Each time before, my heart had been divided by my own grief and concern for my children. This time I was free to grieve for my own loss. The ground was still freshly dug with no signs of grass. There were still dried flowers upon this horrible ground which my beloved husband’s body laid under. The cold wintery day caused me to worry about his poor body freezing- the same body I had loved, kept warm and cared for. It was more than I could take. Great sobs and wailing burst forth from depths I never knew existed. All was dark and dreary; and I was alone in the world. That’s when I felt a tender hand lift my chin to look up…

As my face was lifted to gaze upwards, everything changed! The sky was the most peaceful blue with bright white airy clouds floating with hope. Instead of focusing on the dark hopelessness of the grave, I was seeing the promise of heaven—where my love was now. A quiet joy bubbled up to drown out the life-threatening waves of wailing. All I could think of was the overflowing abundant eternal life my husband now dwelt in. Not even grief can take away the hope we have of a life lived with our Lord—a place where there is no death, pain, suffering, violence, evil, illness or grief. My intense grief was changed simply by looking up!

Oh! my dear friends, many of you are feeling overcome by intense grief. I urge you to look up! Look up at the One who gave you such a precious gift in your loved one—however short the time. Look up for the hope of heaven and the hope of joy in life once more. Look up at the One who understands your grief better than you do and who offers you something to overcome it with-eternal life through Jesus Christ. Look up at the One who will never ever leave you! Look up at the One who holds you as you muddle through separation from one you love so much. Look up to the real Home our Lord is making for you. Look up for the strength you need to go on.

If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, look up from this harsh lonely life from the foot of the cross—the cross He was willing to die on for your sins, so you could live with him forever. Look up to be made new! Look up to be forgiven. Look up to be filled with His Holy Spirit. Look up! Your life depends on it! You may still grieve, but look up at our eternal hope!

Love and Prayers,
Eva

 

“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’” Acts 7:55-56

Dear Friends,

Christmas can be very painful for those who are grieving the death of a loved one, but have you ever thought that Jesus was born to bring hope to those who are low in spirit, the broken-hearted; those who think they just can’t go on? This deep gut-wrenching, life-shattering, paralyzing loss in your life is one of the few critical points in your life when you fully realize your great need. How can you go on? How can you possibly ever celebrate again? How can you find any hope or joy or purpose for living without the one you love so much? The answer lies in that quiet, lowly stable where the Son of God was born, mostly unnoticed by a hopeless dark world. It is possible to find all that you need as you kneel before that manger this Christmas-even in the midst of your grief….

 

Kneel in the Darkness

Most likely, there have been few such times of darkness in your life as when someone you love suddenly left this life. Perhaps it was your child who you must somehow learn to live without. Whether they were a baby, a teen or an adult child—you grieve all the future Christmas and other life celebrations you will miss sharing with them. Perhaps it was your spouse that you hoped to grow old with and you are filled with Christmas and other past memories. Maybe it was a parent, fiancé, sibling or friend. It could have been a violent or a peaceful death—expected or unexpected, but you were not ready (even if you knew it was coming!) Now your world has been shaken. Everything seems unstable, fearful and dark. I respectfully and gently suggest you kneel in the darkness as the Light of the World was born for you long ago in that unnoticed stable.

 

Solemn Stillness in a Crazy World

Your world seems chaotic, out-of-control and void of the love you depended on, that you were counting on. This is the most critical time in your life to kneel in the lonely stillness. You need this baby Jesus who was born to be King of your heart. Nothing will be right until you do. He is the only One who can heal your heart, who will walk faithfully with you through the Valley of the shadow of Death. No one else can understand you like He does. No one else will stay with You when everyone else leaves. No one else can give you peace and joy in the midst of your grief.

 

Drop to Your Knees

Grief will knock you off your feet; punch the life right out of you. While you are there flat on the ground, make a choice to kneel before Jesus, the baby who was God-in-the-flesh; the one who lived as one of us yet without sin to willingly offer Himself as a holy eternal sacrifice for our sin. Jesus is the only one who could overcome death (the penalty for our sin) and make a way for us to live with Him in holiness forever and ever. If Christmas seems different this year because of your great loss, kneel quietly before Baby Jesus in a manger who gave everything to become your king! He will never leave you, and will be with you as you learn to live in even greater joy with the Son of God—the very One your loved one knelt before as they left their earthly body. We each have a reason to celebrate Jesus at Christmas time–especially when you stand in grief at the crossroads of heaven and earth.

 

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying. ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.’” Luke 2:10-14

 

Dear Friends,
With the holidays approaching, extra anxiety can set in for those who are dreading going through them without their loved one. No matter how much you want time to stop, the holidays will come whether you want them to or not. Some people truly wish they could just skip over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years due to the fear of facing these special days without the one they love by their side. There are some specific plans you can make to ease your way through these special days that are filled with memories, emotion, family and the very obvious void of your loved one.

Make Realistic Plans
Even without grief, holidays can be stressful with so many things to do on your list. You may want to consider paring down your list to take some of the stress off and leave yourself extra room for grieving. Consider writing down all the ways you usually celebrate (putting lights up, sending cards, shopping, baking, wrapping…) Take a good look at the list and take some of those items off the list this year. The world will not end if you do not do everything you usually do. On the other hand, there may be some things you’ve done every year that you know are important to continue. Focus on those fewer traditions or ask for help on some of your tasks.

Acknowledge Your Loss and Celebrate Them
You do not have to act like nothing has happened. Find a creative way to honor your loved one this season. Make a special ornament; give a gift that you would have bought for your loved one and give to someone in need; set a place at the table for them; light a candle and have everyone tell something they admired about your loved one; print a card to send out to share thoughts of your loved one; give a framed photo with family members; make a pillow from old shirts to give to a family member; read something they wrote… You know your loved one and can plan a special personalized way to celebrate them during this holiday season.

Stay Flexible During this Season
You may get invited to parties and gatherings. You may want to accept them with the understanding that you have no idea how you will feel that day. Explain that you may need to cancel or leave early. Grief, as you know by now, is unpredictable. It could hit hard without warning, so leave yourself an out to leave if you need to. It may be a good idea to come up with a planned answer for those you see during the holidays who ask how you are doing. You may feel like talking about your loved one and you may not. Feel free to have an answer ready such as, “It is still very hard but I don’t feel like talking about it right now.”

Sometimes the anxiety about the holidays turns out to be much harder than actually going through them. Prepare your loose plans. Give yourself permission to take extra time to remember the special gift of your loved one. Keep a journal or have a safe trusted friend you can share your heart with. Don’t forget to celebrate the real reason we have these “holy-days” in the first place. They just might become more precious than ever before as you discover in a new way that “God is with us” through Jesus Christ.

Love and prayers,
Eva

 

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“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” Luke 2:14

help adults and children while grieving

Dear friends,
There are a lot of books and some great support groups for grievers these days…so what makes My Forever Memories of You different? It’s my hope and prayer that sharing eternal hope is the biggest difference. We were never made for this life to be all there is. In fact, it is only a glimmer compared to eternity. We were created by God to live forever. Because of sin, death is something that happens to us all at some unknown point in our lives and in the lives of those we love. The death of our loved ones makes that more apparent than ever. We may have lost the very one we depended on to be there for us…or the one we dreamed of sharing life together. There is no way around grief. We must go through it. It might seem like the loneliest, most painful part of our lives—yet we need to share it openly and honestly with the very One who will never ever leave us or forsake us.

Sharing My Grief
Our thoughts and minds become so muddled and chaotic during grief that it is very important to share it with one who truly loves you and will let you express it without judgement or correction. I had already been writing every day in a prayer journal to God before Steve ever died. That is what helped us through his devastating illness. When I lost my other half, the one I could share everything with, I eventually found new hope and comfort in sharing with my Lord more that I had even shared with my husband. The book MY FOREVER MEMORIES OF YOU has excerpts from my personal prayers during grieving. Yet, most of it, is your book. After twenty-five years of encouraging others in grief, I realize the greatest help they could get was not from me, but from the One who loves us most, created us and is always available. The short peeks into my grief prayers are only to encourage you to spill out your own heart before the Lord. He is the Great Counselor!

Sharing Your Grief
Everyone who has ever had a loved one die is an expert on grief- but it is their own grief. We may all be there for you, to encourage you and tell you what has worked for us. Yet there has never ever been another relationship like you had with your loved one (no matter how short or long that relationship has been so far). The most helpful thing you can do is tell your story and share your raw chaotic emotions with the One who knows and loves you and has forever to listen; the only One who can truly help you. He is the only One who can help you find joy again in this life and promises eternal life with no more pain or sorrow. My Forever Memories of You offers a place with prompts to tell your story and share your heart with the Lord. Feel free to share in the group or in the book.

Sharing Eternal Hope
Death may seemed to have taken your loved one a moment. At this crossroad of life and death in our lives, if we accept God’s free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, we live forever with our Lord. This life is only temporary, we are traveling to our real Home with the Lord. Others may leave us but He never ever will. Grief may be painful, but we have the hope of eternal life!

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“I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24

“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.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13

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***Use these books and group to help someone you care about find their hope in the Lord as they go through the valley of the shadow of death.

Love and Prayers, dear friends
Eva

Dear friends,

No one chooses to grieve, yet it is something almost every single one of us must face to one degree or another. Not one of us will get through this earthly life without experiencing the death of at least one or sometimes many people we love. Grief happens when we desperately miss the one who has left, and we are left behind to figure out how we can possibly go on without them. The pain of separation from one we love expresses itself in multiple ways, often without warning. The emotions can be so intense that they can either sneak up on us or explode without notice in the form of soul-wrenching sobs, shocking anger, paralyzing fear, anguishing anxiety, joyous memories, overwhelming feelings of being lost, horrible loneliness and so much more—alone or in a crowd in the matter of a single day. Grief actually serves a vital purpose.

Not Forever

Grief helps transition us from a chapter in our lives we truly do not want to leave—to a new unknown chapter without the presence of the one we love and has shared so much of our lives. They are here with us one moment and gone the next. It is impossible to just go forward like nothing has happened when their life has been so intertwined with ours. We are not designed to grieve forever, but we do need to review the special gift we had with our loved one. It takes time and effort to recognize all they meant to us and how they impacted our lives. It is also a critical time to realize that life here is short and eternity is forever. It is a time to reach out to the Lord and realize that He is the only One who truly never leaves us in this life. He is the one who “gets us,” comforts us and leads us through grief and everything else. The best way to go through grief is to turn to the Lord for help. Jesus is described in Isaiah 53:3 as “a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.” He will personally lead you through grief when You ask.

Right Now

We cannot get yesterday back (no matter how much we want to). We may be tempted to skip over grief by running away from it through excessive travel, keeping extra busy, using pain killing substances, not talking about or hiding all evidence our loved one lived or jumping too quickly into another relationship…None of those will keep us from grief. In fact, it often intensifies it. It is far better to face your grief and go through it. There is purpose in looking back through photos, visiting places you loved, and writing out your emotions and memories. By working through this time, with the Lord’s help, you will come out with a healthier view of the immense gift He gave You in your loved one. There will never be another person just like them. By facing your grief and working through it, you will see that you haven’t actually lost them; they are still with you. You can carry on some of the traits you appreciated most about them as you slowly step into the next chapter of your life.

Forever
Though we are not meant to live in the deep grip of grief for the rest of our lives, we will have times throughout the rest of our lives when we miss them. Yet it is also possible to look forward to eternity spent with them—with no more goodbyes. God promises us what is coming in Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” We can go forward in confidence after working through our grief. We have an unimaginable future ahead of us. Our loved one has already begun their new life with no grief. We can work through our grief with the true hope of eternal life given to us through Jesus Christ.

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Jesus promises us, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of the widows, is God in His Holy dwelling.” (Psalm 68:5)

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

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Love and prayers,
Eva
PS. MY FOREVER MEMORIES OF YOU book is a great way to work through your personal grief in a healthy way.

help adults and children while grieving

Dear Friends,

I haven’t posted anything lately about the two books I wrote after twenty plus years of standing with others as they grieve. These books —My Forever Memories of You (one for children and one for adults- available in ebooks and paperback) were designed to actually give you a way to voice your own story, grief, memories, regrets, gratefulness, loneliness, fears, and thoughts of going forward. Here is a link to get a little preview. This is a book written by me–and you. It is actually YOUR story with memories of your loved one. Every single book will be different because of what you put into it! This is one of the most important times of your life. It is a crossroad between this earthly life and eternal life.

These are written out of much compassion, my own grief, my love for the Lord and the broken hearted, my experience as a Grief Recovery Specialist. What makes this book different is that it is a mixture of me sharing excerpts from my own personal journal as I grieved and places for you to share your own personal thoughts, practical and spiritual encouragement and the eternal hope that is found in Jesus Christ. What other hope is there?

A Gift of Eternal Hope

It is my hope that churches, friends, family members will get these books for their friends who are grieving. We can’t and shouldn’t take their grief away. It is vital to go through it. This book allows and gently guides people to work through their own personal grief. It draws them toward the only One who can truly say He will never leave them or forsake them.

Most grievers are not going to get this book for themselves. It is all they can do to make it through the day. These books will actually give them prompts to work through their own grief and find ways to express the jumbled overwhelming emotions that come with grief. It is my hope and vision that churches and believers will use this book to give grievers the ultimate hope as they go through the most devastating time in their lives- whether it is the death of a spouse, child, sibling, parent, friend–whether it is a peaceful or violent death due to old age, tragic accident, suicide or illness.

This book will never be a best seller but it could be a book that will offer real eternal hope to those walking through the valley of the shadow of death…but it will take those who care getting these books to those who need it. They are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble online, or through me. It is not one that lends itself to many reviews because those who it will mean the most to are not even considering giving it a review (which is so important in getting it out to more people in today’s world.) This ministry also includes My Forever Memories of You grief group on Facebook (churches, pastors, friends can add grievers and pastors to this group for extended encouragement) as well as me speaking to groups.

THANK YOU

Thank You to the churches and people who have already shared a book with those who need it. Pray for these books and the My Forever Memories of You grief group on Facebook to continue to share eternal hope!

Love and prayers, Eva

Book Award Winner

Dear friends,
Today my son-in-law speaks at his long-time friend’s funeral…and I think of his mom. Another friend posted a note that her ten-year-old son died 17 years ago. I think of the moms in the grief group I host who are forever missing their children who left this life either very young or even older. A mother’s heart is forever missing part of herself with the loss of a child. I “just happened” to run across this poem written by Steve, my first husband who wrote a lot about death and life…

A Mother’s Grief

In the womb of a woman a life began
And she felt the new life grow.
She put the child within God’s hands
And she loved her new child so.

As the breath of life touched his lips
She held him in her arms.
She thanked God for the gift He gave.
Please keep him safe from harm.

But as the child grew in his years
Sickness closed in on him.
As the mother realized her deepest fears,
Why had God done this to them?

As she knelt down to pray
She felt a gentle hand.
The light was brighter than the day
And beside her God did stand.

“I cry the tears just as you do
And I feel the pain you feel.
Though your child’s life here is almost through
My love for him is real.”

“You see I do not take him from you
For the bond you have can’t break.
As I say these words are true,
I save him from the snakes.”

“Yes, by My side he’ll walk today
And his pain will be no more.
In My arms, he’ll find his way
To the road to heaven’s door.”

“I also say he’s in your heart
And beside you he will be.
Just as he was when his life did start…
Now he walks beside of Me.”

“There will come a day when you’ll touch again
And you’ll hold him to your breast
For your child is only with a friend.
He did not die, he only rests.”

By Steven D. Hall

God’s love for us is described in Isaiah 49:15: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”

help adults and children while grieving

Dear Friends,
Several of you just faced the year anniversary of your loved one’s departure from this earth. My thoughts and prayers were with you though I might not have been able to fully express that. (My son-in-law is still in the hospital recovering from a 20-foot fall through a skylight in a roof. Praise God! He is broken but alive! I thought I would be adding my daughter to the young widow list) There is a surprising amount of emotions that you may go through approaching or on that particular day. Perhaps it is the fact that it has been a full year—not the grueling days or months you’ve been enduring—but a whole year. Here are various thoughts and statements on that “year anniversary” I have experienced or heard others express through the 26 years since my husband’s death and encouraging others through grief:
• Congratulations—I made it through the first year.
• A year is nothing compared to how long I will have to live without them.
• Anticipating that year mark is worse than the actual day.
• I just want to sleep through that day.
• I made that day a special celebration and it was so precious.
• I am not the same person I was a year ago.
• I will never be the same as I was a year ago (I’ve heard the previous two statements in both positive and negative connotations).
• They will stay forever young and I will grow old.
• A year! Now my grieving is over, right?
• I am just now beginning to grieve.
• I’m beginning to have hope for my future.
• I will never get past this.
• I just keep reliving their death.
• I want to carry on the best of their life for the rest of my life.
• I can never love again. Loss hurts too much.
• Life is short. Relationships are precious. It is important to me to let others know how much I love them.
• I will never see them again.
• I can live fully because I know I will be reunited with them… and the Lord is with me and will never leave me.
Wherever you are on that “calendar of grief,” I am praying for you as you truly will not ever be the same. The reason I keep doing this? No one understands your personal grief more than God; and Jesus makes all things new.
Love and prayers,
Eva

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:1b,3

 

Ps. If you or someone you know is having a difficult time in their grief, the book I designed to help people work through their own grief is MY FOREVER MEMORIES OF YOU (available in adult and children’s versions)

help adults and children while grieving

Dear friends,
Regrets or those haunting “What if?” questions are one of the things which can prolong the deep pain of grief. Some experts call it unresolved grief. It is a natural part of grieving to second guess how things could have been different if you or someone else made another choice. Yet when you get stuck in that mind frame, and it holds you captive, it is time to try to resolve it. You may think that there is no way to do that since they have left this earth, but there are definite things you can do to work through unresolved issues. You cannot turn time back and undo any choices you or someone else made; yet you can choose to find a way to work through it and go forward from this point.

Real Regrets, Wounds, and Questions

Through the years I have heard tragic regrets—not taking someone to the doctor, not spending time with them, the last conversation being a big fight, letting their child go on a trip which resulted in death, abuse, neglect, not appreciating them while they were alive…The “What if’s?” can be debilitating: What if I had gotten them help? What if I kept them from going? What if I hadn’t done this or that? The process of going through the deepest part of grief can depend on dealing with some of these issues. Some are really not your doing and others are.

Ask for Forgiveness

There is true freedom in forgiveness for even the worse possible scenarios…for even the worse possible person. It truly has to begin with asking forgiveness from God Almighty. There are a lot of things which come to the surface when we are grieving. Emotions are extremely sensitive. The only One who can truly forgive us is God. He wants to forgive us more than we will ever comprehend. That’s why He sent Jesus to absorb our sin so we could absorb His holiness. We can’t do anything to make that happen. Each of us can only accept His forgiveness in the deep love it is given by God Himself—specifically for you. What a relief when we admit our wrong and our need for a Savior who can give us eternal life.
After admitting to God what we regret-what we are sorry for- we also can ask forgiveness from our loved one (or sometimes not-so-loved one) who has died. Write a letter to them asking forgiveness for what whatever regret, hurt or deep wound you might have caused. Then you can decide to burn it, bury it, tie it to a balloon and let it go, or nail it to a cross.

Give Forgiveness

Sometimes there are real wrongs done against you. You truly might have been innocent and undeserving of a wrong by the person who has died. It is never too late to forgive them. If we are to truly live in the richness of God’s forgiveness, this is something we must do. Forgiveness truly brings freedom! Write a letter to the person letting them know how they hurt you and that you are reviewing your relationship with them. Let them know you are forgiving them. You may have to forgive them over and over until it no longer holds power over you. Then you can do the same thing with this letter as listed above.
Dear friends, this is a very short synopsis of dealing with regrets and unresolved issues. If you truly want to work through this, you will have to do more than just read about it. The book MY FOREVER MEMORIES OF YOU I created to help people work through their own specific memories and grief has at least two chapters which go more in depth. It is for you to work through. It is your choice to accept and give forgiveness. It is a huge step in experiencing the true freedom found in Jesus Christ.
Love and prayers,
Eva

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36