Monday, April 18, 2011

You Aren't Meant to Do This Alone

Monday's topic is grief. The process, the twists and turns, the questions, the hope . . .

What do you think of today's title? Do you think it's true that you're not meant to go through grief alone, or does your grief feel like a prison sentence to solitary confinement?

Does it depend on the day? Some days people and friends came through for me in thoughtful, touching ways. Grace was lavish, my heart overflowed with gratitude.

On other days the walls echoed with silence, clouds hid the sunshine, I couldn't get warm, the phone didn't ring. On those days I wanted to scream, "If I'm not supposed to be alone, then why am I alone!!"

Sure, I was lonely, but was I really alone? Truth was, I wasn't alone, but I was in a new territory.

A new set of friends gathered around me and they weren't always who I expected. I began walking every day with a woman named Laura and she was a pillar of strength for me while she herself was going through tremendously tough situations. Another friend named Laura began to draw me into her world of cystic fibrosis. A young woman named Becky courageously asked me the questions no one else dared.

A handful of others gracefully wove in and out of my life, too, including people from my past. I was surprised to realize one day that many of my new friends were divorced. They had experienced the death of a marriage; difference was they still had to look at the guy. And as I look back now I see that all the new friends had one common denominator: they were survivors. They weren't afraid of my pain and grief. They had lived through it. They'd grown.

I think they also knew I could not make it on my own. No one can, no one is meant to.

But my friends weren't omnipresent--they couldn't be with me all the time. That's an attribute of God. Read Psalm 139:7-12. It says He saw me in that empty house, He heard the cry of loneliness.

He's the one who sent the survivors to me. He sent the days of lavish grace, and the days that imprinted me with the fact that we aren't meant to do this alone.

That's why this blog is here. You aren't meant to do this alone, either. Psalm 68:6, "God sets the lonely in families . . ." Don't you just love that? For the Christian, besides your surviving family, there's your church family, the Holy Spirit within you, God is with you (whether you sense Him or not), and I'm willing to guess that some surprising survivors surround you, too. Why not make a quick list of people God has sent your way? You might be surprised at the new people in your life.


  1. Ferree,
    My dear friend’s mother (Patti Damiani) sent me your link. It is both encouraging, as well as a relief to be connected with other young widows.

    The day my life changed forever was 6 years ago yesterday, feb 21, 2004. My husband, Rick, went for a quick run on a Saturday afternoon, never to return home. At a young & healthy age of 36 he collapsed & died suddenly from a fatal heart arrhythmia do to cardiomyopathy. As I stood there in our front yard holding our 2 month old son, I unknowingly spoke my last words to him …“I love you.” Next to knowing that my husband is with Jesus & having our son, that is the sweetest blessing God has given me. Thanks to my faith & hope in Christ, I never had to say “good bye,” just a painful “see you later” & a kiss on his cold cheek as he laid on the gurney in the ER.

    Yes, life does go on and we do adapt. What I have learned so far is that God can carry you through life’s most difficult circumstances, if you choose to let Him. And that is the most challenging trial, as well as a constant battle.

    Thank you for your blog. I look forward to reading more.
    Becky von Meister

  2. Dear Becky, I could just see you standing in your front yard with your baby--we never know what a day will hold! Your words are true and God is doing a good work in you. Thank you for daily choosing to let Him! I agree, it's a battle and a challenge, but God does carry us through. (Although some days I wish He'd just carry us AROUND it or OVER it!) I'm so glad you've got the "Patti" connection--she's an amazing and godly woman--I always want to be more like Jesus when I'm around her. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life here, and I hope to continue to hear from you. ♥ ferree

  3. Some days I feel very alone,but then there are those golden days when an unexpected call or visit makes the day shine with joy.I know that even on the lonely days God is with me,but oh how I need someone with 'skin on' .


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