Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Loss of a Loved One

Everyone at some point in their life will lose someone they love. The pain can sometimes be overwhelming, consuming, and aches deep inside of us. Every life is of indefinite value, and deeply hurts those that love them when they pass. The death of a family member is especially a very sad, very personal, experience. There are ways to soften the pain of the separation of our loved one. Even time will dull the sharpness of the pain. But it is the ultimate reunion with the one we love that will completely heal all pain. Thank goodness for the Gospel Doctrines that teach us of our Resurrection and reuniting with those we love.

When someone you love has passed away, it's more than comfort that we need. We need direction to find ways for living without missing them more than we can bear, a way to arrive at peace and keep hope in our hearts. We must also inadvertently pass through the grieving process.

"When they lose a loved one, most people go through specific steps of grieving, though at a different pace and to different degrees. It helps to be aware in advance of those steps, which include shock or denial (the “numbness” stage); guilt, anger, and depression; acknowledgment or acceptance; and finally adapting.

Grief is not bad, nor is it a sign of weakness or something to avoid. To take the grief out of death would be to take the love out of life. We need to allow ourselves to feel whatever is appropriate to the events and seasons of our lives. When our spouse or another loved one dies, we must give ourselves permission to grieve. It is okay to cry; in fact, crying is one of the healthiest things we can do. Tears of sadness can actually help calm us. It is no myth that a person feels better after a good cry.

Tears are only one of the signs that a person is beginning the process of recovery. Other signposts on the road to adapting to the loss of a loved one include a shift in attitude from “Why me?” to “Why not me? I’m strong enough to handle this.” Life is not always fair in the mortal sense, and if we expect it to be, we will be discouraged. However, life is always fair in the eternal sense. Instead of asking “Why did—or why will—this happen to me?” we can be asking “How can I grow through this experience and become a better person?” " - (February Ensign 1995, Till We Meet Again, Sharon Evans Brown)

Ether 12:6 reads "... wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." Losing a child, husband, or any loved one is an ultimate trial of our faith. However, the matter of faith is what you have to fall back onto during this time more than ever. The most helpful thing in the tremendously difficult time of adjustment is to realize that your loved one, like Christ, still lives!
- paraphrased from May Ensign 1973, A Weeping Eye Can Never See, by Elaine Cannon

‘We ask for strength, and God gives us difficulties, which make us strong;
we plead for courage, and God gives danger to overcome;
we ask for favors, and God gives us opportunities.’
- Jule Johnson

Through our tears and trials, fears and sorrows, heartache and loneliness of losing a loved one, there is assurance in remembering that life is everlasting. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, is a living witness that this is so. Even with the trial of death, our loved one lives, and is close to us. Through scripture we learn that the spirit world is here on this earth, and that even choice spirits help protect us as our spiritual guardian angels. Those that have not been called to help those on the mortal side of the veil are preaching the gospel to those in spiritual prison. Is it not a comfort to realize that they are with us still, serving in the gospel, separated from us by just a veil?

Death is a very traumatic experience. For anyone. It is through the passing of time, going through the grieving process, and turning to Christ and trusting in His great plan for us and our loved one that will help us through the hard time.


  1. Elizabeth, those are some great quotes and inspirational thoughts. Thank you for taking the time to look those up and to share some great things. You are a sweetheart.

    I heard you are going to girls camp this year. The girls will love having you up there with them.

  2. Elizabeth, that comment was actually from me Sister Fisher :) I didn't know my daughter had signed in on the computer. But while I'm here I will just take the opportunity to thank you again for your sweet thoughts. Love you

  3. Yeah, it's my last year. I'll be 18 on Sunday, but since girls camp is just a week after my birthday, I had to go one last time :)

    You're welcome. I hope it can help you in some way.