We grieve deeply, when we love deeply. Grief, like the love that is the foundation of our grief, never fades. We just learn how to live with it. No amount of healing can replace the piece of our heart that our loved ones take with them. But as we go through the grief journey, we learn how to put our grief in a keepsake box on a virtual closet shelf that we can go to when we feel the need to be close. But there are days when that box comes tumbling off the shelf all by itself.

This past Friday was one of those days. It marked twenty-seven years since a car crash tore our family apart, killing my first husband and our three precious children. I always have a plan in place for honoring special days, particularly this anniversary day. One of my favorites ways to remember is releasing four red roses into the ocean as I pray and tell them how much I still love and miss them.

But this year, I am in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains busy settling my twins in for another school year. So I decided to walk to the beautiful chapel down the street and enjoy the cool peace and quiet to share some time with those who are gone from my touch but never from my heart. As I headed out, my husband called acknowledging the day with words of love and comfort. And with that began a parade of calls, cards and texts from family and friends telling me they were thinking of me and remembering with me loss beyond measure. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means after all these years to have such a faithful group of BFF’s in my life. To know that I am not bearing my grief alone, but that others are willing to shoulder it with me, gets me through the day, and I am so very grateful for each one of these blessings in my life. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Paul writes, Praise be to God…the Father of compassion and of all comfort, who comforts us so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

I know that on days when that keepsake box full of love, grief and memories comes down off the shelf the Lord reaches out to me, and through wonderful people in my life He strengthens me, so that when the day has passed, I may gently place the box back up on the shelf and continue to embrace the life I have. Thank you Lord for your mercy and for putting such wonderful people in my life. Love, heartfelt thanks and blessings for each one of you!

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