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In 2018, many well-known and significant people died.

From Billy Graham to Aretha Franklin to George and Barbara Bush to John McCain to Stan Lee to Stephen Hawking to Charles Krauthammer, the year featured a wide array of notable deaths.

Each of these individuals was recognized with a significant amounts of news coverage, and rightly so.

I wonder, though, if in 2018, you also had to say goodbye to someone you loved. Perhaps it was a parent, a cousin, a longtime friend. Many people I know had to deal with death in 2018, and often it was someone that the media did not notice. But this person was and is a treasure to you and many others.

If so, it’s you I am thinking about and writing to today. As we collectively grieve the loss of titanic figures like President Bush, we also can grieve with those who experienced an up-close loss this year. In fact, it was during President Bush’s passing and funeral we saw that family members, including his son George W. Bush, who experienced the loss on an intensely personal level.

If you are in a season of grief, don’t feel pressured to “just move on” or find distraction. Embrace the opportunity to mourn; to remember; to hope.

In my years or reading, I have not found very many good books on grief. There are, of course, well-known books like C.S. Lewis’ “A Grief Observed” and Granger Westberg’s “Good Grief.”

Yet I find that three things speak to me most during times of grief: music, poetry and finally, God’s Word.

Perhaps one of these verses from Scripture could bless you as they have me in times of loss.

  • God blesses those people who grieve. They will find comfort (Matthew 5:4)
  • The Lord is near to those who are discouraged; he saves those who have lost all hope (Psalm 34:18)
  • He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety (Job 5:11)
  • We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)
  • The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me (Psalm 23)
  • Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 14:25-26)

 Please know that I am very sorry for your loss, and that I pray the God of all comfort—the God Who Is There—will give you peace now and always.