Skip to main content

“How are you doing?”  That’s a great question to ask, all the time of those in our lives.

Let me just say that is not an easy question for a person who has lost someone they love to answer. If you want the real honest answer, and I will sort of speak for grieving people, specifically those who have lost a child, if you would allow me, the answer is generally we are not doing all that well.

Life marches on.  We have moments of joy and moments of deep sadness. We laugh. But there is such sorrow. The painful sorrow hits us all the time at very inconvenient times. You know you can be sitting with a bunch of friends and maybe laughing and having a good time. And boom a memory will hit you. It is just like a landmine. You step on it and it blows up and you come crashing down.  Just this Sunday as we were worshipping the Lord together at Calvary, a wave came over my soul. We were singing how Jesus, the Lion of Judah, is ‘fighting our battles’. It was just overwhelming. Why the loss? Why the attacks after his death? Why allow the mockery Lord? Why was Eddie declared dead while still alive? Why not wait on the Lord? So quickly hope was lost by a few. It was a moment of unexpected emotion, an overwhelming reminder of the pain surrounding the last days and heritage of our precious son and brother, Eddie.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31 (NKJV)

“Well he is in heaven.” is often a quick response. We know. “So rejoice.” Please stop.

Now don’t misunderstand the statement, “please stop”. It is not what you said isn’t true. I agree. Rejoice. Amen. He is in heaven. In Christ, she is in a better place than we are.  Soon and very soon we are going to see the King and those who have died before us.  But please don’t say flippantly to a grieving person, “Well just rejoice.”  (I wrote a article not too long ago that will help you with what to share with your grieving friend.) Also, don’t misunderstand that your love and appreciation isn’t obvious. It is. It’s appreciated. But how careful we need to be as we serve others, especially those grieving.

Have you ever had anyone die in your life? Someone close to you? Have you ever had a child die?  When a parent loses a child, they can’t replace him or her. They can’t remarry. They can’t have another child in their place. You can’t replace a brother or sister. Siblings really wrestle with this deeply as well.  It’s a deep void, forever while living on planet earth. A family moves forward without their child.  There is no way getting around that.  This is also often true for widowers and widows who are older.  They aren’t remarrying.  As I was talking to a precious saint recently, she expressed how she literally feels like half of her is gone. It is a painful ripping away type of pain in her life. She won’t be remarrying.  For many, really for most, the grieving pain remains.

I was encouraged recently as Christina Grimmie’s dad shared at her memorial service. He said, “There’s a gigantic hole in my heart that will never go away. But God is bigger than the hole.” It’s so true. Both parts. The hole is real. The presence of God is real. The pain is there. The healing is there.

And now, brothers and sisters, I want you to know what will happen to the Christians who have died so you will not be full of sorrow like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus comes, God will bring back with Jesus all the Christians who have died. 1 Thess 4:13-14 (NLT)

If you’ve had someone close to you die, you would never say it that way. You would say it with tenderness. You would say, “Man I miss him. But you know what? We will see him again.” I don’t know exactly but you’d be softer and more sensitive. You would just say it differently.  As you enter into the lives of others, the Holy Spirit will guide you. If you haven’t lost anyone close to you, I’m encouraged for you. If as a widow or widower you are remarrying, that’s a gift from God.  You have been spared significant pain… for a season.  But you’re surrounded with those who are not spared that same pain, every single day of their lives here until eternity.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it. Heb 4:16 (NLT)

How are you today? How am I today? Please pray and bring those you know are grieving before the throne room of grace to find help in time of need. Believe me from personal experience, there is always more to the story and much prayer is appreciated.


  • Jennie Crunk says:

    Was bawling as I read this! I so understand & 45 years later the pain can still feel tremendous! But it does help to know I will be with my baby girl again! That brings me much joy & I often try to imagine how it will be! I was sharing at Prime Time saints once how, even though I was saved for about a year & knew I was going to heaven, I really didn’t realize I would see her again until the Lord made it very real to me as He showed me 2 Samuel 12. David’s son died & he said his son couldn’t come to him but he would go to his son. That was so joyous to me! I often go & read that passage again! I have also shared that with Christian friends who have lost a child or grandchild.

    Thanks for sharing your heart! It really helps us & prayerfully you also!

    Blessings, Jennie

  • Frank says:

    Response to your blog

    My words could never express how I hurt for you and Marie. It’s really interesting how sensitive I have became after my loss. When I come across people that have no clue of loss I can honestly say that sometimes I am jealous. All the loss they may know is a Goldfish. Then I take a step back and say, who am I to determine their loss and the power of it. There are so many downsides to mourning without Jesus. One thing I have learned from you is we have to continue our race. I just sometimes wish I met you 10 years ago to get that encouragement sooner. But, God has it planned just right. I
    too have my moments of being bombarded with a whirlwind of emotions. But I truly know in my heart of hearts that Gods working out something Glorious! I’m with you guys in prayer always.

  • Nate Ball says:

    I really appreciated this article,as I lost my older brother earlier this year. He had been in a coma for a year after a bad car accident. A day never goes by that I don’t think of him and it’s been hard on my parents too. Thanks for sharing this with all of us.

  • Kim says:

    Wonderful message, gave such hope and release, which I needed. Thank you.

  • Janely says:

    Thank you for your candid words; and thank you for including siblings–many times I just hang out on the sidelines in silence in my grief. Thank you for being a parent that even in your own grief you still recognizes it impacts a family. I lost my brother 20 years ago and the waves still come crashing down…albeit less or maybe not as intense every time, but yes, randomly, they crash down and leave you gasping for the air that you were so effortlessly breathing a moment prior. You’re right God is so much bigger than the hole left behind, but I’ve come to the conclusion that for me the grief cannot fade completely as my brother is still my brother. Just as I cannot erase the memories, I cannot erase the hurt. I’ve learned to manage it better–not well, but better, I’d say, but not eradicate it. Thanks for the loving reminder that I am not alone on this journey that there are others who need the comfort and love of Jesus both from Him directly and from us as we reach out to other hurting souls. God be with you and your family Ed, wrapped tight in His gracious, loving, healing arms of mercy and grace–keep preaching it real–it matter more than you know!

Leave a Reply