We are never fully prepared for the death of someone we love, but sometimes that loss comes with absolutely no warning at all. One day, one minute, everything is normal. The next moment the phone call comes or the knock on the door. Your entire life has changed in an instant. When the loss is...

Nearly two years ago, a burglar kicked in my front door and stole a bunch of personal stuff. It was bad enough that he took from me, but he also got some of the things my brother had left at the house. On top of that, he stole some things of Mom and Pop’s, things...

Please pardon the “Ghostbusters” reference. Got your attention though didn’t it? My father was the one responsible for all home maintenance stuff. For anything he could not do himself, he knew who to call. Four years ago, I came suddenly into responsibility for said household maintenance with no idea how to fix a garage door,...

Most families have that one person who calls everybody together from time to time. You know the one? Usually she will prepare a meal and call the family together. Through her work, the family is one unit even though in different branches and different homes. The day comes when this glue who has held the...

Are you tired yet of being told to take care of yourself? That your own self-care is one of your most important tasks in grief? I know I tired of that refrain very quickly. There was too much to do. Too many people needed me. I did not have the time or the energy to...

What does that even mean? Normal is the life we shared with the one we loved. That is the normal we want back. We do not want some new normal that excludes them. We have choices, even in grief. We can shape this dreaded thing, this new normal. We can make a new normal filled...

In denial, our minds know something too terrible for our hearts to accept. My mind understood that my parents had died. My mind knew that my brother and I had to plan their funeral. My mind knew that someone would need to lead the congregation my parents had loved and served for seventeen years. Still,...

Today is my father’s birthday. It is still a shock and an unpleasant jolt, four years after his death, on his day, to wake up in a world without him. Pop died suddenly, with my mom, tragically in a car accident. Even when we know the end of a life is coming, we are never...

Scripture tells us, “In your anger, do not sin.” This tells us something very important. It tells us that being angry is not by itself a sin. Sinful anger would lash out at someone else to hurt them. Sinful anger would have us self-harm. Sinful anger causes us to do harm. Remember that when Jesus...

When we were estranged from the person who has died, there is an extra layer of grief. See, as long as they were alive, we held out the perhaps slim chance for a reconciliation. Now, they are gone. So is the chance to hear or to say, “I’m sorry.” The chance to hear or say,...