I had never lost anyone close to me. I had spent hours praying for people in my life who had lost a loved one. I had tried to relate to their feelings, but never realized how far away I was from their pain. If you are reading this then you are struggling with how to deal with the death of a loved one. This page shares my story and how God has been leading me down the long, painful path of healing.
I scribbled this in my notebook three days after Rebekah’s accident while sobbing on my bed. It is basically the ramblings of a grieving mother and I didn’t “pretty” it up because I want it to be real.
One day life is fine. We are playing games, planning trips, picking wildflowers. My frustration at messy closets and sassy mouths are real, my greatest challenge.
And then, in an instant, it all changes. A cold breeze breaks the sweat on my skin from the warm day. The sweet scent in the August air is gone, dread fills my heart.
Dread leads to shock, denial, despair. My baby girl is dead. Gone. Gone before her life really began. Gone before I could tell her I love her one last time.
My laughter is gone now. My heart is broken. My sun forgets to shine. The every day tasks of washing clothes and scrubbing pans are no longer important. They have lost their significance. They are meaningless, empty, worthless.
About My Rebekah
I invite you to take my hand and travel this path with me. I want to start by sharing a little bit about my Rebekah. She is my second child out of five and my only girl. She was my right hand man and we did everything together.
We had just returned from a week long family trip. I was busy doing laundry, grocery shopping, and trying to get organized again. I have relived that August evening thousands of times. My daughter hurt on the side of the road, dying before my eyes as I waited for the ambulance.
Let me tell you, I had not known real fear until that moment.
I could go on, but I want this paragraph to be about living life and keeping the memory of my beautiful daughter alive so let me tell you a little more about her.
Rebekah Lynn was all sunshine or all rainclouds, no in-between and fiercely determined. She loved and accepted everyone with a big smile and genuine love.
She was petite with blonde hair and blue eyes. A friend used to say “dynamite comes in small packages” and I can’t think of a better quote to describe her.
You can read more about her in these posts:
How to Accept the Death of a Loved One
There is no easy way to accept the death of a loved one. I wish I had a scientific formula to give you that would make all the pain go away. I can only share with you what helped me. As you read the posts I have listed below, I am sure you will find something that resonates with you wherever you are on your path to healing.
Go through the grief, don’t try to avoid it. Allow yourself to feel the hurt and anger, depression and disbelief. Give yourself space to heal. Keep a journal, talk to a counselor or close friend, express the grief.
When we avoid grief, it doesn’t go away. Pretending we are fine does not make it so. Grief will find a way out and if you don’t provide it an escape, it will express itself negatively.
If you are wading through deep grief yourself or need help relating to someone who is, I have kept my early posts exactly as I had written them. They are raw and painful to read, but they show you are not alone.
- Grief: My Dark Hole
- The Happiest Time of the Year
- When You Cry Alone
- Losing Myself in Grief
- Follow Your Heart: Not Just a Cliche
- My Heart’s Answered Prayer
- The Song that Came to Pass
- Emotions are All I have to Share
- Happy First Birthday in Heaven
- Gaining Strength from each Other
- How a Family Christmas Vacation Helped our Grief
How do You get Over the Death of a Loved One?
These posts contain the many lessons I’m learning as I heal. Lessons that come when I least expect it. Sometimes during happy times but more often during the depressions that come at her birthday or anniversary. The times that smack you in the face and knock you down for a day, a week, a month.
- Healing from Grief: Allowing Yourself to Grow
- When You Think You’ve Been Buried: Quotes about Hope and Healing
- Treasures from the Waves
- Do You Have the Courage to Let Go of the Sunset?
- When You Want to Run Away, Do!
- Thankfulness in the Face of Grief
What does Grief do to the Body?
Science tells us that grief changes our bodies and our brains. Grief increases inflammation and lowers your immune system. These two changes alone are the base for numerouse health issues as well as intensifying preexisting conditions.
For me, grief taught me about anxiety. I had my first panic attack 3 days after we lost Rebekah and anxiety remains a constant struggle for me.
Faith in Grief
Healing comes through faith. I have to say it plain and simple. We need God to help us down this road of healing. Often times we blame God for the loss of our loved ones, other times we doubt what we thought we believed. The path of healing is also a path to faith because faith isn’t faith until it’s tried.
- What to do when Your Faith isn’t Enough
- When Sorrow Steals Your Joy
- How to Give God Your Weakness and Accept His Strength
- A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance
- The Faith Cycle
- Suffering to Learn Obedience
Words to Comfort Someone who Lost a Loved One
We are always looking for words to comfort those who are mourning. It is hard to know what to do and say. These posts are primarily Bible verses, but I plan on writing more quotes so that you can put them in cards etc.
I have found that the best way to comfort someone who has lost a loved one is to simply be present. Let them know they are not alone and you are there for them.