Your Grieving Heart

grieving heart

Grief is so unpredictable. Since losing my dad, I never know what to expect from one moment to the next. My dad was a solid foundation in my life and someone I knew I could rely on. So there are days when I wish to speak to him, but I have to talk to him differently now and trust that he can hear me. My heart aches for his presence and counsel. How I wish for one more hug, one more smile, one more laugh, and one more moment with him. 

When my book came out, I was excited to share it with everyone, but the one person I wanted to share it with the most was not there. Would he be proud? Would he have loved it as much as my mom? It may not have been written if he was still here on Earth because his passing and inspiration were the catalysts for the book’s writing and publication. Sometimes, I wish I could trade that. 

When I had my book signing in February, I placed my dad’s picture on the table next to me. His presence was significant that day, and I desired to be close to him. I know his spirit was there. I received lots of hugs that day from the family and friends who came. I know he embraced me in those hugs, but I wished for just one more hug from him. 

Grief has no prescription.

There is no specific remedy for how we grieve. There are no instructions on how each person deals with grief. It can appear out of nowhere, and your whole body needs to accept it. There are so many ways to deal with pain. 

It is funny how people react to someone grieving. I know that they mean well and try to make things better. But the one question I get when discussing my dad’s passing is, “ How old was he?” My response is, “88.” Then, they respond,” Oh, well, he lived a long life.” He lived a long life is a fact, and we are all grateful for that, but that does not take away our pain and our grief. He was still an important part of our lives and is now gone. I would rather experience the silence of someone who does not know what to say than that response. 

Grief has no expiration date.

There is no specific time when our grief is going to stop. It may get easier to accept, but we will always feel the loss. I will always miss my dad’s presence. The sadness and disappointment I feel when I know he misses an important event will never disappear. The desire to speak to him and feel his touch will not subside. Grief may change, but it will always be there. Sometimes, it may linger for days, and other times, it may visit briefly. 

When joy meets sorrow

Even in laughter, the heart aches, and rejoicing may end in grief. – Proverbs 14:13

Joy taps sorrow on the shoulder, “Will you be my friend?” it asks. Even in pain and grief, it is possible to feel joy. It can appear in mysterious ways. Something is there to pick you up when it feels like you are falling apart. Look closely; even in the sadness, God provides those moments of pure joy. A quiet, gentle nudge reminds you that there is always something to be grateful for. There are blessings all around you. Joy and sorrow can coexist. 

My friend, 

Grief has a unique way of creeping up on you when you least expect it. There are no boundaries for suffering. It will just invade your mind and your heart whenever it pleases. There is absolutely no right or wrong way to grief. For everyone, it is different. Permit yourself to grieve in your own way and in your own time. Give yourself permission to feel it and accept it, as hard as that may be. There are those moments when you think you are fine, and then suddenly, something triggers a memory, and the moment of calm turns into sadness, anger, and disbelief. There is that denial that they are gone. Do not be ashamed of how you choose to grieve. Loss is loss. It deserves recognition for what it is. 


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  1. Twyla Franz on April 14, 2023 at 8:34 am

    Bridget, thank you for your encouraging words. This is so timely right now as I grieve the passing of one of our school crossing guards. I talked to him every day, both ways across the street, and he always answered my hand-raise goodbye with a nod as I drove through the intersection to go home. He was hit by a car minutes after I saw him last, and he didn’t make it through the night.

    • Bridget Gengler on April 30, 2023 at 2:09 pm

      Twlya, I am so sorry to hear this. Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable time for you. I hope and pray this post helped you. Grief is so difficult and unpredictable. Prayers, my friend.

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