February 7, 2022 - The Grief Journey

Lessons from the Road

Tomorrow will mark Shari’s four months as a resident of Heaven. Some days these four months seem like a lifetime, other days I feel that I am reliving October 7, 2021 all over again. The Grief Journey is one that we ALL will travel, it is a trip we don’t want to take, but we all suffer loss in our lives, it is an unfortunate part of living, caring and loving. We need to know how to take the journey, how to talk about it and how to help one another.

Here are some of the lessons I have learned so far, I have many more to learn. Some of these I have learned by experience, some from others on their own journey, and some from those who had no idea they were being used by God to help guide me on this journey. Buckle up, here we go…

  • I cannot make this journey alone; I need to lean into the Lord, He is my Shepherd and is there with me every step on the journey.
  • I need “my community, my people;” family, friends, mentors, even people I may not know. Those that are in my life who are farther on the journey than I, as well as those who aren’t grieving. In short, everyone can be a support on this journey.
  • Tears are healthy; they are a point of release, as are the emotions that are a part of the journey. God can handle my emotions and tears and so can those who care.
  • Every day is a great day with challenging moments. Some days are harder than others, but it is “the day the Lord has made and I choose to rejoice and be glad in it.”
  • Talking about my grief is healthy for me and for others, if I can’t say it I write it, there will come a day I will be able to talk about the grief.
  • My loss has become a part of my story, it will always be a part of my life. The life Shari and I built didn’t end on the day she died, it continues and will continue, just differently than I had planned. Her life lives on in me, our children and grandchildren and so many others.
  • I will walk, or live differently, as a result of my loss, like experiencing an injury, the body may heal but you may walk with a limp. It’s not negative, just a reality.
  • The Psalmist writes in Psalm 23, “though I WALK through the valley of the shadow of death…” we walk, not sprint, not camp out, not build a house and live there, but we walk through the grief and the loss. Getting to the other side doesn’t mean our grief ends, but we move forward.
  • We don’t move on, we move forward. Shari will always live on in my heart, moving forward doesn’t mean the end of grief or forgetting, it is simply continuing to live out God’s purposes, promises and plan for my life.
  • This is not God’s “Plan B” for my life. He knows our days before we are born, He knew my loss was coming and His plan and purpose for my life aren’t finished. God’s promises still stand!
  • Grief doesn’t diminish with time; in time my life grows around the grief and grows bigger and stronger as I travel this road.
  • Never undervalue or underestimate the importance of your presence when you are there to support a friend or loved one in their grief. You don’t have to worry about what to say, sometimes it may be best to just be silent and be present. Your presence, love and support mean more than you will ever know. Your call, text, message and loving support are invaluable to the one suffering loss.

I am just getting started on this journey and still have much to learn. I’d love to hear some of the lessons you have learned on your grief journey, please feel free to share in the comments or send me a message.

As always thanks for your support, prayers, encouragement and love. Blessings to you as you travel this road none desire to travel.

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