Handling A Loss

The Life You Always Wanted may not always go the way you wanted and the reason I decided to write this at this time is because of what just recently happened.   At our New Years Summit meeting in Louisville, KY and Sandy Utah, I had multiple people come to talk to me about their recent losses.   They were asking for advice on how to move forward with their life, how to help their friends and relatives, and what they should be doing to get better.   It has been almost three years since my Jackie passed away, and I am just now beginning to be able to think about it clearly.   I am not sure what book I was reading recently, but it was talking about this subject, and the author said,”I can only think about it in my strong moments.”  Needless to say I have not had many of those, contrary to popular opinion.  I for sure am no expert in this area and have probably done more incorrectly then I have done correctly but I promised those hurting hearts that I would post something to try to help.

The first and most important reason that I have not lost my mind going through this process is because of my faith.   I have no doubt that there is a God and he made this world and everything in it.   God did not create death.   Just this thought alone has protected me from wanting to blame God or at least be mad and ask the question “Why did he do this to me?”  He didn’t;  He created life, and this fallen world has created death.   I cannot imagine mentally trying to handle the situation without knowing that there is a reason why.   That there is an ultimate answer and that she is in a better place.   All that said, I still did ask that question many times but I knew my answer immediately.

I’m not sure how all of this next part will come out because they are just random bullet point memories but I will give it a shot.   I will also list the books that I read that gave me some of these insights and some comfort.

  1. It is ok to be sad and to grieve.   Most people try to avoid the pain and suppress the emotion.   If you have gone through this, you may be thinking I have never cried this much in my life or felt this terrible.   I understand;  there were times that I cried so long and intensely, in my closet to avoid the kids,  that I would literally wake up there later on.   The thought that they are in a better place is actually ridiculous, if you have lost someone.   (Sorry to the people who told me that.  The best place from our view is here with us.   The books I read say to embrace the grief and lean into it.  I did not do that even though I felt completely exhausted and miserable all the time.  If you do not embrace the grief, it will show up in your life later on and more than likely as something negative.  The human natural feeling is to want to stop feeling sad.  It is amazing how exhausting it is to feel sad 24 hours a day.  When that hits most people turn to something else to stop the pain.  I know first hand because I did as well.  Please watch your loved ones carefully, they are in a mental spot that you can’t understand, but they still need your help to make sure no bad habits are created.
  2. Find sources of support.  I did not want to take my kids to any of these places because my mind was just trying to avoid the pain.  Luckily I had great family and friends that pushed me to take kids to Ele’s place.  This a fantastic group and not only did they help my kids, they helped me.  There is something comforting about hearing other peoples grief and pain.  It actually gives you comfort because you know they are the only ones that understand what you are going through.  If someone has never been through this, they can’t possibly understand anything that you are mentally dealing with.  I know because someone in my team lost their spouse and I said the same things about him that others then said about me.  I am forever sorry that I actually thought those things about him, but I now completely understand.  This is why it’s so important to find someone that has endured your pain.    With that said my friends and family are probably the reason I am alive.  I had so much support and love that it helped me to fight everyday to try and make it back from my depths.  Have them watch over anything and everything.  Let them help with finances, housing, a shoulder to cry on, someone to hang out with and for sure let them help with any  major decisions.  I now know without a shadow of a doubt that I was not okay even though it felt like it.  I was just  running away from the grief that I didn’t want to feel anymore.
  3. How do you move forward?  This was the main question that I am asked.  It is asked because your entire life was mentally planned out with the person you lost.  All of your dreams, your friendships, your daily habits, the trust you built were tied together and its like losing a part of your body.  Start or continue to attend a church as hard as it may be.  I now realize that I ran away from church because every time I was there it reminded me of the grief that I was going through.  I don’t know why I felt that, even though every message that I did hear was food for my soul.  It also made me sad every time, but I know that’s okay now and want you to know that it’s ok.  Ask your pastor to find a spot where you can cry in private.   I believe you have to find a purpose to fill the void that is gone.  That purpose could be your faith, family, friends, charity, anything that will give you a reason to continue on.  Things will be different forever more.  Friendships will change, family relationships may change, what you planned for the future may change, dreams and goals may change but always remember there are people that love you and need you.

The pain of an absent heart will never go away but your life will continue. It has taken me three years just to be able to write about this.  I will never stop missing my Jack (my nickname), but you still have many things to do as new relationships  form.  Hopefully you will find another person that you can start sharing your life with.  Overall just know that it is part of a greater plan, even though I know that’s the last thing you want to hear.  I truly hope this helps someone out there.  I understand your pain and you can get through it.

Books

  • Bible
  • Getting to the other side of grief – Zonnebelt       ( must read )
  •  When your family has lost a loved one – Guthrie
  • Sunsets – Deborah Howard
  • Letters for healing – Von Kopfman
  • Trusting God – Jerry Bridge

God Bless

126 thoughts on “Handling A Loss”

  1. What a beautiful post. I’m sure that this will help many people who are currently dealing with the loss of a loved one and will also help many people in the future too.

    Thanks for sharing and may God continue to bless you and your family.

  2. Bill, words of wisdom. I cannot even fathom what it would be like to lose Jeff. Your words are full of wisdom and very heart felt. They are a good reminder to feel the pain that we are going through rather than try to push the pain away. Thank you for taking the time to share. I can only imagine how hard it was. Bethanie

  3. Thank you for this post. This is very helpful to understand the grief and live it in a beget plan. I have lost my father this year, I understand the pain, sadness, and the melancholy state you feel. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Bill!

    How brave and generous of you to write such an amazing article to help those through a pain that you have been through! It speaks to who you are as a man of God and a leader.

    May God continue to bless and keep you!

  5. Thanks for being such a strong leader that can open up about the darkest times in your life, just for the chance of helping someone else deal with their trials!

    All my respect,
    Jeff

  6. Bill,

    Thanks for being so transparent and sharing this great article on dealing with a loss. I am proud to be your friend and your example of human perseverance coupled with human frailty is an inspiration. I cannot fully say that I know how you feel, but I can say that I relate to your hurts, and I am encouraged by your willingness to press on! God has a way that we cannot comprehend, but His grace is sufficient, thanks for fighting the good fight of faith and taking one day at a time…
    Love you Bro!

    1. Thanks partner. You not only speak fluidly you write fluidly also! 🙂 I know you and Tina have been thru pain yourself and our few talks have helped me a lot.

  7. Bill,
    That must have been difficult for you to put into words.
    Your thoughts and words are very honest and beneficial to so many of us! Thank you for sharing your experiences and helpful resources. This blog is appreciated more than you will ever know!
    God bless you and your beautiful family!

  8. Thanks Bill. As I read, it helps me understand the grief I’ve felt over losses in my family and how I could be more helpful to others close to me that have lost a spouse or child. I know I could be more present in their lives than I have been. Much appreciated.

  9. We’ll put brotha. As you know I lost both of my parents 21 days apart in may of 2013 and I went away from God. It’s a much slower process back to him if you do it by yourself, I found that out the hard way and don’t recommend it for anybody. I can’t imagine how hard it was and might still be for you.

    Troy

    1. Thank you partner. I hope your family is doing well. You are correct it is much harder to fix the broken. Sorry for your losses as well. Send me text and let me know where you guys are at.

  10. This helped me so much. I was still grieving so much from a year of 3 deaths in my family. Still thinking about how they could just go from cancer and other things. This was quite an awakening moment for me reading this. Thank you for always inspiring all of us and for sharing your journey with us. God bless you and your family.

  11. I’m your man, for EVAN! (Movie quote) Thanks for posting your heart. If you need anything man, I’m always here man. With my dad recently passing, I have been experiencing the temptations of hiding or suppressing my sadness, so this post couldn’t have come at a better time.

    Preciate and love you man.

    1. Thank you partner. Very sorry for the loss of your dad. I know went thru the same thing that I did. I can’t explain enough how much the time you spent with Jake helped him when I couldn’t. I owe you a life debt for that my friend.

  12. Hi Bill,
    I am so thankful that you shared this!!! It will help so many people!!! We were just starting in Life when Jackie passed and I feel like I could relate with her in many ways and now too with Keisha!!! You are a lucky man to be able to had/have the love of two AMAZING women!!! God bless you!!!

  13. Bill
    Thanks so much for the words of wisdom. You have such courage and strength!! Thanks for your amazing Leadership! We love you. God bless you forever and always.
    Sarah

  14. Bill.
    We love and admire your courage, transparency and strength. I remember Donna Smith saying when she lost Denny, “I will pour my sorrows into people.” I know this article and your continued testimony will help so many.
    Thank you for giving so much of yourself when I am sure it was the hardest to do! I know you did it because you love and serve and you have dedicated your life to helping and serving people.
    We share in your grief and in your triumph. You are an amazing man of God! May He continue to lead, comfort and guide you and your family. We love you!
    “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6 24-26
    Sharon and Tony Hoffman (2 of your biggest fans)

  15. Bill, thank you for having the courage to share this and empower others. I am an elementary teacher and six years ago, I had not one, but two, second grade students lose their young mothers in the same school year. It was a tough year as I tried to navigate helping my students and their families the best I could. Finding quality resources can sometimes be tricky when in unfamiliar territory. This is one reason why I know that your faith, wisdom, insight, and testimony will impact the lives of many more people; I know I’ll be sharing this. I’m proud to be part of your team. God bless.

  16. Bil,
    Thank You for those words! The peace in my heart has increased. you have put in writing what my thoughts and words could never explain until today. The only thing that has given me comfort is knowing that even if their physical body us gone, they are right next to us in spirit, keeping vigilance over their loved ones.
    Many Blessings,

    Maria

  17. Oh, how you have given here, like Job sharing from the depth of your broken heart! And not cursing God but letting Him do amazing things in your life. We are privileged to be a part of your journey, Bill.

  18. Bill, being so transparent and reaching out to help others makes you an even better leader. Unfortunatley I know first hand the stuggle you have been thru and can attest to everything you have said especially “finding” yourself and your purpose again. Thank you for being a tremedous role model by applying that in your life- I can only aspire to do the same in my own situation. I truly feel blessed to be a part of your organization and to have gotten aquainted with you and Jackie and now Kiesha. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing this and continuing to share your life’s journey with this community! God Bless!

    1. Thank you Cindy. I wish I could have helped you more but it was still so fresh in my mind I could barely talk about. I am very sorry that you are part of this terrible club but your strength and determination has inspired many, many,many people. I know in the quite times it doesn’t always look like that. Your awesome!

  19. Thank you Bill for being so transparent. You somehow put words to explain the grieveinrg process and I really love how you said to lean into the grief and allow yourself to feel it. That is SO true! Thank you for your wisdom and contribution to the world. May God bless you and your family.

    -Lindsey

  20. Thankfully, I have not suffered such loss so I can only imagine the pain and suffering you went through. I believe that the ability to express yourself now in this way, and reaching out to help others, is another step in your healing process. I have no doubt your words will help many who have suffered such loss. Thank you for sharing xox

    1. Thank you Monia. You are correct writing this has actually helped me. One of the books said to do that but I was to busy trying to hide from the grief. 🙂

  21. The article was awesome, my Son, Johnathan Yoder, passed, it will be two yes, this March.As a Mother, I’ve found it hard losing him, & this will help me a lot, Thanks, Valori Smith

  22. On September 2 2011 we lost our 36 year old son he left behind a teenage daughter. She has had no contact with her mother since she was 2. I want to thank you for your article I belong to a group of grieving mothers it has help a lot but one thing that has help is my faith and I thank my parents for that . Only two years ago we almost lost our daughter in a motorcycle accident she still is struggling but with love of her family she is doing well . Thank you for everything. Sending you prayers of strength and peace . Pat Wilson

  23. Love it Bill. It is so awesome to see you put some thoughts down. I know I can’t even imagine what you went through, even though I loved her soo much….I know it was a fraction of how much u loved her. I have a experienced greif the past few months especially…..just in a difference sense- With supporting my husband(which I did have many conversations with Jackie about in the awesome bookclub)- and listening to God’s voice-sometimes things are revealed thar we did not expect. I do not understand life’s unexpected turns sometimes…..but I do know with everything that is taken from us…a piece of our heart with never be the same. Always in my heart.
    Phil.4:13

  24. Man you did it…..another step in the healing is sharing with others to help them heal….sharing the comfort you received with those who are suffering…..It was written beautifully and you have given me courage to start sharing my blogs again….God has been nudging me to share on my blog the grief process….what process? Its just a never ending pain…but there are steps, and books, and you have given me the nudge to go help others…we are moving ahead brother. Although my pain is that of my child….our pains are similar in so many ways. Love you all…and miss you guys! So proud of you because I know there was much pain in the process of writing this but you fought through to help others….a servants heart always.

    1. Thank you Brenda. I know you know first hand and I hate that you do. Enjoy the sunshine and tell that knucklehead I said whats up.

  25. My husband and I joined LIFE right after Jackie passed, so we never got to meet her, but enjoy hearing about her. Thanks for sharing your feelings and the emotions you went through. In Feb. 2015 I lost my Grandfather and Father-in-law (unexpectedly) and then lost my brother (unexpectedly) in Sep. 2015. It was a rough year to say the least. I listened to many of your CD’s and read the “Peaks and Valleys” book you mentioned on a CD and it helped knowing you lost a loved one as well.

  26. Bill – thanks so much for sharing! I lost my dad/best friend/business partner almost 9 years ago and a big part of me went with him – my happiness/joy in life/sense of direction. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a Bill Lewis in my life at the time or any other mentor for that matter. As you said, I did welcome in a lot of negative. It took almost 6 years for me to realize that there was a greater plan which I still struggle to accept some days, but that season in my life is what lead me to LIFE about 5 1/2 years later. Being around the LIFE community lead me to welcoming God back into my life and He opened my eyes to the plan that He had been unfolding the whole time. I still find myself amazed on a daily basis as I continue to put the pieces together realizing that He was by my side the whole time. It is because of your leadership, strength, and encouragement over the past three years that has kept my spark of hope alive and I am blessed to have you in my life as a mentor to follow. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on the subject and the recommended books as I know they will help me even now, 9 years later. Thanks Bill!

    1. Wow Nick I had no idea. Thank you for the words. If you made it thru all of that without this amazing community you are stronger then most my friend. You are on your way to a great victory.

  27. Bill,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me at the major convention in Utah. It was very helpful. This article has wonderful insight and will help those who have lost a loved one and those who are supporting people who have lost someone. I appreciate your courage to push through and help others. God bless you.

    1. Thank you Theresa. I couldn’t stop thinking about all of you that shared your stories with me. I hope this does give a little insight and help. Those books into way more detail and will help you help your son. Very sorry for his and your loss.

  28. Thank you, Bill, for sharing, being open about your feelings, and admitting that your loss of Jackie has resulted in you making some bad choices in the past. Surprise, surprise…

    All those of us that have never gone through a life changing loss as you have (those that are on “THIS side of grief”) cannot comprehend what you & others are going through. Now: If I don’t understand that, I run into the danger of seeing something you do and start JUDGING and think, “I can’t believe Bill’s doing that…”, or worse, GOSSIP by talking to others, “have you heard what Bill is doing…?!?”. The Word says,

    “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭1‬ KJV)

    If I am not part of the “problem” and, thus, most likely, NOT part of the solution, it’s really non of my business. Plus, all this does it gets my eyes off the sinful areas in my life (last I checked, I wasn’t perfect, yet…) that I need to be cleaning up before I can start “worrying” about somebody else’s problems (“sins”). The only thing I need to do is pray for you & let God sort it out, last I checked, He didn’t need my help with much of anything…

    Proud of you Bill for all you do!! You’re a champion and I have complete trust and faith in the fact that you KNOW all the mistakes you have made and will do your best to fix those areas because,

    “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required:” (‭Luke‬ ‭12‬:‭48‬b KJV)

    God Bless,

    Holger

    1. Thank you very much Holger. Your support thru this process has helped me so much! I can never thank you enough for taking time out of your life to just come and play with my kids while I was mentally gone! You are a true friend and I appreciate your and Lindsey support so much.
      Thank you partner.

  29. Bill, my neighbor lost a son last year who continues to struggle silently. I am forwarding this post in prayer that it will give her needed resources. We are also spending the evening with a couple who lost their son who was finishing his last year of residency at the University of Michigan. He was murdered in his residence to thieves who escaped with his computer. They found great comfort in an outreach where others lost loved ones. They are now grief counselors helping others through these dark valleys in life. God Bless you Bill. Deb and I are honored to call you friend.

    1. Thank you Jim. I appreciate the kind words. Jackie truly had an instant connection with Deb and loved her. You two are awesome.

  30. Bill–I am forever grateful, despite how you were feeling, that you chose to come through the most terrible part of your life; that you chose to get up and fight even when every shred of your being was screaming for you to lay down and quit. I am especially grateful that you were sensitive to God’s leading in your life and that you married Keisha on Gods timing and not based on what others may have thought. Such a great testimony of what a loving Father we have and how He gives good gifts to His children ❤ She now is able to bless people (like me!) through a platform she didn’t have before. By your example you have shown people that there is a path through their grief and that they can make it. This article gave them some specific tools they can use. I’m sure it was difficult to write, but in true Bill Lewis fashion, you did the hard thing anyway ❤ We are blessed to know you.

  31. Thanks for the blog Bill and everything you do. We are all so blessed to have you in our lives. I’m so glad I was able to know Jackie. She was amazing! Just being involved in Life and working on breaking thru layers has helped me grieve for my mom who passed away 27 years ago. I didn’t realize how many things I carried into my adult life and how much it affected me. When your only 10 you don’t realize it. I’m glad the kids went to Ele’s Place. I think that could of helped me thru many emotions. Thanks again for sharing this article. It has helped so many people and will continue to help people.

    1. Thank you James. Please make sure he reads it. He was one of the people I was referring me to. I could see the pain in his face. Very sorry for your loss.

  32. Mr. Lewis,

    Thank you, your words have brought comfort in dealing with a loss. Though you are addressing loss through death there are other losses that bring this sense of grief as well. Acknowledging that it is grief one is going through… it’s a good place to move forward. Thank you again.

    1. Thank you Imelda. I am glad that it helped you. The books go much deeper into the highlights I gave. Very sorry that have experienced a loss as well.

  33. Thank you so very much for this post. My sister lost her 12-year-old son, her oldest son, in an ATV accident Thanksgiving Friday 2016. It has been so hard to watch her walk through this pain and not be able to do anything to help. I definitely think this blog will be helpful to her and her husband and for her 4 other children Who lost their big brother. I definitely think she will appreciate this blog because she, like you, said it is comforting to hear from those who have gone through the pain she’s going through.

    1. I am so sorry Shannon. Just be there for them in any way that you can. Try to give them some happy moments and I hope this does help them. Eles place was outstanding.

  34. Thank you so much for sharing Bill! You have been such a blessing to so many people. I just heard this yesterday “Chase God and Blessings will chase you” – Joyce Meyer

  35. Thank you Bill for your thoughts on healing after the loss of a loved one. My mom died when she was 32, I was only 13 months old and my brothers were 3 & 5. My dad was a quiet man, kept his feelings to himself. As a child of a parent that lost a spouse, I believe point #3 is right on. Finding someone to share your life with is extremely important for your own wellbeing. My dad remarried when I was a senior in high school. It was wonderful to have a mother in my life, someone I could share “girl” things with. Us kids were also able to see a new kind of love in our lives. My faith in the Lord is great. I know that one day I will be reunited with my loved ones. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (Hope for the Christian dead) God bless you & your family. Ronda

    1. Thanks you Rhonda. Jackie was 32 also. Appreciate you adding comments from your experience. Very sorry that you had to go thru that.

  36. Bill..Thank you for your courage in writing this to help ease others pain. My husband died 8 1/2 years ago and I still look for bits and pieces of information to continue to heal.
    While I didn’t blame God, I didn’t have a strong faith at that time either. That was in 2008. I didn’t attend a church service after Christmas Eve that year. I became cynical and isolated. Other than work I couldn’t go anywhere without my son nick.
    Fortunately Nick was introduced to LIFE and he introduced me to LIFE in 2014.
    The major in Columbus Ohio in June 2014 God started reentering my life. I again know that He is guiding me to fulfill his plan. The association with the wonderful people in LIFE and encouragement received from the leaders to continue the journey are blessings to me.
    You are truly a servant leader and I am honored to know you.

    1. Thank you Thyra. Glad to hear you are healing and also sorry you had to go thru that process. This community makes difficult times much easier.

  37. Bill, thank you for writing this. I have only lost a grand parent in my life and i know it was very hard. I know this must have been hard but also therapeutic to write some of the things that get bottled up. I know when I am hurting I just bottle my feelings and always try to help others first. But have slowly learned that I also need to take time to ment my pains a little too thank you for showing your heart

  38. Bill, what you did with this post I not sure you will know the magnitude of its impact. Your ability to walk through the reality of the pain, the thinking and the solutions as you see it…was masterful. I have been in church my whole life and I never heard anything like this…thank you for letting us see your heart and giving us a peak behind the curtain…in your vulnerability and preserverance, you are the toughest man I know…

    Aaron

  39. Bill and all who are hurting from a loss of a loved one ( or more ). I started and restarted this post a number of times. First I want to thank Bill for having the courage to write and post this blog. I know it couldn’t have been easy. Loosing My dad was hard, but he was 85, lived a good life, and we knew about 10 months before he past that it was going to happen. We had time to prepare. Still miss him a lot. Loosing Jackie is undiscribeable! The hurt, the depth of pain, the emptiness, the anger at God for allowing her to die, the feeling of helplessness watching her slip away, seeing her in the hospital the way she looked, praying and begging God to spare her life. The gut wrenching pain I get more often than not, never seems to go away. No, I have not dealt with this very well! Thanks to the rest of my family and friends who have been here for me I get by! I love them all so much! I urge you all to love and respect each other, to treat each other as if it were the last time you will see them, honor and cherish each other, sacrifice yourself for them, life is too short not to.

    1. thank you very much Chuck. I can’t tell you how much you and Char have helped me through this process and still do. The whole family has helped so much and continues to accept me and my new family as it changes and grows. You guys are amazing.

  40. Thanks Bill, I recently went through this with my mom. No one seems to get me right now. They look at me like I’m from another planet. I’ll make sure to take a look at the books that you suggested. And just keep your chin up, looks like you’re doing great! I’m on the same team with Frank and Courtney Cox.

    God Bless
    Deb myland

  41. Thank you Bill for being a source of strength for others going through loss. I know each person’s process of grief is their own, and while I have known loss of many loved ones throughout my life, each one is different and each one takes it’s own time to grow to the level of acceptance. I wish for you and your children continued peace in knowing the love that Jackie brought to the world. I am going to share this post in the hopes that your words can bring comfort to those who need it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the books that help navigate through this process.

    Blessings to you and your family – Lynn

  42. Thank you Bill for sharing. My family experienced a similar loss when my boys lost their dad at very young ages almost eleven years ago. I would like to share with you some wisdom from my oldest son who also found himself fighting for his life battling leukemia almost five years ago. This past December we lost their grandfather on their dads side. My oldest son got up to speak and this is what he said. Upon reflecting on death with his younger brother his younger brother said there are two times that we leave this earth once when we die and then again when the last person we knew stops thinking about us. He ended with saying if he ever wants to see his dad all he has to do is look in the mirror and their he is. Their dad lives within them and I pray that your children can look in the mirror and see Jackie. As for me all I have to do is look at my boys and I can see Scott. God has blessed my family in so many ways. It is through His grace and the support of family and friends that we keep moving forward.
    God Bless

    1. thank you very much. Please tell your son that how words are fantastic. I pray that my kids will one day be able to think about her loss like that. Tell him I said thank you.

  43. Bill, thank you for sharing this. I was able to share my testimony in May after Jackie passed away, and she was a big part of it through her testimony and transparency on stage. Even though we never met, I felt like she was my friend because she showed me Jesus. Now, I was able to share your words with a lady who has two friends suffering a recent loss. They are offering her some guidance as she ministers to them, and I pray they will give them some comfort . Thank you for your heart, your transparency, and for loving us.

  44. Bill – Thank you! Yesterday marked the fourth month after losing my husband, Steve. Reading this was like many of my own personal journal entries. I have to admit that I am a little uncomfortable posting this reply. Every day is still a struggle. What I can tell you is that you have mentored some wonderful Leaders on your team. I reached out and they did not hesitate to welcome me with open hearts! My greatest struggle has been trying to find my new purpose without Steve.

    Like you, I have made some bad decisions and will probably make more. What I do know is that I have God and my Life family to keep me on the right path moving forward. I have felt like others have moved on while I am still stuck in a very dark overwhelming grief. Steve had been very sick for a long time and we were not able to stay connected physically to our Life community but in our hearts we never left. I have rededicated myself to serving others through Life. I could not have more generous mentors. This community continues to inspire me to be a better person, to serve God and others in any way that I can.

    Thank you for sharing and letting me share!

    BBNQ!!

    1. Thank you Correna. I know where you are at and its a terrible feeling. Try as hard as you can to do what they recommend in those books. I wish I would have done more of what they offered. I know now it would have helped greatly. Just keep fighting for the next day.

  45. Hi Bill,
    You and I have never “officially” met. However, we share a sadly common experience. I lost my husband 18 months ago.
    I just wish to let you know that as hard as these words are for you to express, they are gold. Gold for those who relate with your experience. Many unhelpful words are offered to the grieving people because few know what to say to one who grieves.

    Your words about finding God’s new purpose ring true. I’ve found that finding out the answer does not happen quickly.

    My blog about my journey of grief if you would care to read is:
    http://Www.writingsofawoundedwarrior@blogspot.com.

    Thanks for your vulnerability here,
    Jo Spencer

    1. Thank you for your kind words Jo. I am very sorry that are going thru the same pain that I am. I hope this really did help and I ll be praying for you.

  46. I rrally needed to read this! I lost my nana two years ago come March 6, and I still struggle with the grief of loosing her. I don’t always share those painful feelings, because I feel like I’m being a burden to whoever is listening to me. Thank you for the reminder that it’s OK to grieve, and how to work through it.

  47. Bill –
    It took me over a week to open this and read it. You know I love you like a brother and Steve & I stepped into your corner for life when we were at the hospital with you in shock as the reality was hitting all of us that Jackie was not going to get better.

    Tears are rolling down my cheek now as I vividly recall those few days with you in the hospital.

    You are an incredible man and now with Keisha by your side. God has blessed you with a second chance for happiness and purpose for His glory.

    Steve & I know much of your story over the last 3 years and are still here for you no matter what & you know that.

    I know so many people will be encouraged and potentially be saved from harm due to your courage in writing this post.

    Love you man!

    Your sister from another Mr,
    Beth Morgan

    1. Thank you very much. You two have helped me more then you can imagine and I can’t express enough appreciation. I know it was very difficult for both of you also and yet you guys continue to serve me and Keisha. Thank you little sis.

  48. Hello Bill,
    I feel very Blessed and Honored that you have shared these words and feelings. My name is Audrey, I am a new member in LL, and through that venue have been granted the opportunities to have this type of INSPIRATION available to me in seconds. ♡BRAVO♡

    Another Great Book:
    “You’ll get through this”
    Max Lucado – A MAZE ING 👍👍🌟🌟
    (Hope and help for your Turbulent Times)

    (A little bit more if you Dare?)

    I Lost my Beloved Daughter (Lindsay 31) one year ago, unexpectedly and tragically. Luckier than most (or is it really?), I have been full of Gods Favor, since that Horrible phone call blared into my ears. One reason I feel more Fortunate than most parents who have lost a child is because:

    Even though my #1 Angel had to leave this physical part of my life, God has Blessed me with 2 – New and Slightly Improved, angels (my granddaughters, Hailee & Adriana)!! YEAH, GO GOD!!!

    Without this responsibility, I would be wallowing in Whoa’s me’s, I’m never gonna make its and Poor, poor pitiful me’s.

    You are spot on with Everything you have suggested. One thing I might add if you’ll allow:

    If you are alone and it seems as if you haven’t enough help, support, finances or strength, Please, Please: Before Accepting Any Offers:

    Be very, very careful who you place your Trust, Heart and Soul into/with. Make Absolutely Certain that their Heart is your Heart!!! Everything/Anything, concerning any important decisions, views on parenting, Lifestyles (free spirited, buttoned up, loud home or very quite home etc.), school and Finances, Should match Extremely, Closely,.almost perfectly.

    There can be No Big Divide or Disagreements, otherwise Your Best Interest is not what takes precedent. Their consciuos & subconscious thoughts, programming and limited beliefs will force them to do what they have been taught. And in Your Pain and Grieve you will find it hard to notice, because it comes under the guise of Love and Caring: Both of which you are YEARNING for….

    Gaurd Your Thoughts, Mind and most importantly Your Heart. Tune in and Listen. LISTENING is far Better than hearing. Everything Your Heart guides you to or not to do is God’s plan for you. When you get “That Feeling”😣🙃,pay attention.🤔 FOLLOW YOUR GUT, as my mom would say….💖 There is No Better Time to: Read, Listen, Associate & Do!!♡♡

    Blessings to your Heart, Mind, Soul and Prosperity,

    Audrey Pierce
    alpmom61@gmail.com

  49. Bill,
    I have read this blog a few times now and Thank you so much for sharing. And Thank goodness I was smart enough to forward your blog to some of my dear friends. One of which, got me three of the recommended books. Unfortunately, I can not see thru my tears to read. I feel I need to write but again the tears get in my way. I was a hospice nurse and dealt with death and dying every day, never thinking everything I was saying to husbands, wives and other family members, I would be running from now. It has been 11 weeks since my husband of 7 years gave me a hug and a kiss and said I love you for the last time as he left the house to golf but never made it there. Massive heart attack and gone only 4 blocks from our house. Many times I just want to curl up in my little corner of my new world and not get up, but yes … Life goes on. My prayers are more often as my faith grows stronger. Your words give me encouragement to do the tough stuff and to believe I can and will be ok … In time. Thank you so much for your strength

    BBNQ

    1. I am very sorry for your loss Ruth. There is nothing wrong with what you are feeling. I know exactly what you are saying, nothing matters. Its hard to describe to someone that feeling – everything mattered to me before and all of sudden I could care less about everything. I promise you that feeling will go away. It may take a long time and it come and goes. Just realize that it won’t stay forever and try to make yourself do things that give you some mental relief and joy, even if for a moment.

  50. Thanks for sharing. I still miss her. She spoke my first conference and her wisdom changed my life and I was just passing that same information on this last weekend at a seminar full of early childhood educators. She is still impacting people we her legacy. Thanks for sharing her with us all. I lost both of my Parents and now at age 38 and my husband 43 health concerns r showing up and last 2 weeks we thought my husband may have to deal with some big issues thankfully not yet. he has been miserable so we have had too many conversations about how hard it must be to lose a spouse. We decidided we truly can not even fathom it. In a previous career We have held the hands of elderly People as they’re passing and trying to comfort the spouse and children too after they have been married longer than we have been alive. I can not imagine truthfully. Thanks for shedding a light on a very difficult subject. May God continue to show grace and shower u with blessings.

    1. thank you for your reply. She was amazing and I continually hear stories about her making a difference, still

  51. Bill,

    Thank you for this post! We lost my grandpa on January 4th 2017. My grandparents were married for 63 years and we were worried how my grandma would do when my grandpa passed. They were super close! So much so that the hospice nurse that came in said it’s rare to see the kind of love that she seen between my grandparents. They were dependent on one another. My grandma had cared for my grandpa with dementia, Parkinson’s and a massive stroke.

    I seen your blog on this topic shortly after the major in January, so I wrote down those books that you had referenced and gave them to my grandma. It has been just a little over two months since he passed and she has read four out of those five books!! It’s been so nice to talk to her about what she is reading and know that it is helping her process this.

    Thank you again for writing this blog! There is always purpose in our pain and because of your pain, you have helped my gram deal with the blow of losing her husband.

    Thank you again!
    Kenna

    1. Wow! Thank you for sharing that. It really does help hearing that it has helped others. Very sorry for her loss and its hard to explain to people but hopefully the books will help her thru the pain.

  52. I woke this morning to this blog. Went to church and the sermon was amazing. I don’t think I would have gotten as mich out of it if this blog hadn’t taken me to the right raw place. Soich healing in 20 mins. Check out http://www.lcbcchuch.com sermon series “NO Easy Jesus” this week was so applicable. They have all been amazing. Helping others by sharing is so therapuetic. Sooo Tough but sooo helpful. Thanks again.

    1. thank you for sending this to me. Looking forward to watching it. It was very tough and still is but it is great to hear that this article is helping people.

  53. Thanks for sharing, Bill. You are an amazing leader. Thank you for opening your heart to us. Your story is helping so many people! You are a favorite among all the many people I work with because you deliver truth with a raw sincerity that is so real that it gives us permission to be ok with our flaws while taking away our permission to stay there and wallow in them. Thank you, brother!

    1. Thank you for the kind words. I really appreciate it. This has been the toughest time in my life and knowing there is a community that I have for support has helped so much!

  54. Thanks so much for writing this Bill! We can never see the full picture God has planned for us but I definitely see the depth of character and compassion that you have developed through this process that will bless millions of people. You have definitely blessed our family and I appreciate your friendship more than you know!

    1. Thanks partner I really appreciate that. Its has felt like a total blur but Im glad you are seeing something positive that changed in me. You and kenyon have helped me a lot also with your kindness and stories. Appreciate ya brother, glad to be in the fight with you.

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