Who would choose to write a book on grief—and how could that be God’s provision?
The third book in my Soul Care series is on grieving. I signed the contract for this series of books in 2018 and the publication of the books was the order set up then. The series idea was born out of a stressful time of caregiving and loss while my dad was in the last stages of Alzheimer’s.
The first two books—Soul Care When You’re Weary and Soul Care for Writers, came out in 2018 and 2019, respectively. I began writing Soul Care When You’re Grieving in late 2019. As I continued to work on the book, the pandemic hit.
I learned many valuable things during that writing journey. I discovered that the five stages of grief that everyone talks about—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance— aren’t really a set process. They’re a list of things that are common to most grieving events. For me personally, I found myself often skipping one stage, like anger, and then waking up months later immersed in a rage that lingered. These stages can be helpful only when we realize what we’re going through isn’t unique, it’s a shared experience. What is not helpful is comparing my process to anyone else’s.
Another thing I learned was the fact that we all grieve differently. As an introvert, I do a lot of my grieving in private. I’m not hiding my pain or purposely pushing anyone away, I’m also not trying to be perceived as strong or something I’m not. I’m simply processing my loss in a way that is natural to how God created me. An extrovert often grieves the opposite way. They usually need to process their grief by sharing it with others. Neither way is wrong or even better, just different. Beyond our personality type, I’ve found we grieve differently every time we’re faced with loss.
But what about God’s provision?
That came to light beginning November 23, 2020. That day our precious daughter-in-law was killed in a tragic accident, leaving behind our son and their 3-month-old baby. Our family immediately drew together, supporting each other as we began to walk out our intense grief.
In this journey, I found an unexpected foundation of strength from the year of writing this book.
These are the things that helped me most.
- I turned to God. I had learned I could safely take all my feelings (even the ugly ones) to God and He would embrace me. He is faithful to walk through the darkest valley with us—even when we’re angry with Him.
- I practiced grace. Giving grace to myself and to those around me and not judging the process of grieving. For so many years I had thought I was doing it wrong. This time, I just took the waves of emotion as they came—without condemnation.
- I read the Bible every day—first thing in the morning. I wasn’t in any kind of a formal Bible study, I just picked up the book and read. There is something incredibly healing about the word of God. By immersing myself in His healing words, I found the strength I needed.
- I accepted help from others. I consider myself a strong person, so accepting help isn’t natural. But by letting others take care of us, we were better able to cope.
- Accept the joy when it begins to appear. One of the hardest parts of grief for me, was when the enjoyment of life began to break through. It felt like experiencing joy was somehow a betrayal of the loss I’d had.
I don’t think there’s anyone reading this who hasn’t experienced some kind of major loss in the eighteen months. But it’s important to lean into God and let the healing begin. When I was ready, God began to once again flood my life with the warmth of His love. He has introduced us to a new rhythm for life—not one we’d have ever chosen—but still filled with beauty and a little more joy every day.
Cathy here! Edie, thank you for being our guest today.
If you’d like to win a Kindle copy of Soul Care When You’re Grieving (release date is November 2nd!), leave a comment below.
Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. She’s a writer who feels lost without her camera and a reluctant speaker who loves to encourage an audience. And she embraces the ultimate contradiction of being an organized creative. She knows the necessity of Soul Care and leads workshops around the country on staying connected to God. Her numerous books, including the award-winning Soul Care series and Unruffled, Thriving in Chaos reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on social media & thru EdieMelson.com.
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Edie, Thank you for sharing the wisdom that you gained through grief. You’ve been in my prayers and will remain so as you face the anniversary of that tragic event.
As I read this book, I thought of 2 Corinthians 1:3 where it says that as we’ve received comfort from Christ, we’re to turn around and offer that same comfort to others. Edie is a living and breathing example of this blessing. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Kathy.
I lost my husband 4 1/2 years ago.
I was so greatfull that I had read books just to gain info.
So when he passed, I think I did pretty good.
But as normal, I was also grieving to.
I realized that it isn’t just the person you lose, but the things you have planned on doing together.
I think if I’m honest I was in shock for 7 months.
Thank u for writing the books you write.
I’d love to receive 1 so I could share.
I always put books on my shelf just incase someone may need 1.
God bless you and the family.
Darlene, thank you for sharing your own experience. Your insight on losing not only the person but future plans especially struck me. Praying for you as you continue to move forward in God’s grace and healing power.
Darlene, I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re so right, there so much in the grief journey when you lose someone you love. Thank you for sharing your insight. Blessings, E
Kathy, that’s a great verse! Thank you for the prayers and your sweet encouragement!
This was such an unexpected but on time word from God. I am totally overwhelmed with grief. Thank you so much for sending this email. God bless you!
Lyla, tears flood my eyes as I thank God for His timing. I’m praying for you during this incredibly difficult time. Thank you for taking the time to share. God bless you.
Lyla, I’m so sorry. I’m praying for God to gather you in His arms and comfort you.
Edie, thank you for sharing. I really appreciate how you talked about different ways of processing grief and one not being better than another. God just made us differently, and I think that is such an important point. Blessings to you!
Kristen, that’s one of the boss best blessing I discovered on my personal journey of grief—I wasn’t doing it wrong and neither is anyone else!
Thank you for sharing this help me so much. I must read your book. I lost my precious 48 year old daughter who was sick 4 1/2 years with Stage 4 Kidney Cancer. She was a very brave young woman. She left behind two young sons 18 and 23.
Brenda I’m so sorry for your loss. Words really don’t express the comfort we long to provide—only Jesus.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insight.
Minda, thank you for stopping by!
“… when the enjoyment of life began to break through. It felt like experiencing joy was somehow a betrayal of the loss I’d had.”
This was/is the attribute of my most recent experience of grief. As Edie shared, I relate. The day my loved moved to heaven was a tragic event this side of heaven.
Edie, thank you for writing through the hard times. Many will heal through the words God gifted to you.
Cathy, thank you for sharing – and for being a part of the healing in my grief.
Thank you for sharing, sweet friend. Love you…and the prayers continue.
Grief can come at us not only via physical death, but through intense loss of many kinds. Your vulnerability speaks volumes about God’s grace, Edie. Thank you. May God continue to bless and heal you and your family. Amen
It’s so good seeing you here, friend. Sometimes the “unseen” grief can be the most painful. Praying for your continued healing. (((hugs)))
A cousin’s adult son passed suddenly and unexpectedly the week of Halloween. I’m heart broken and haven’t the words to express how deeply I grieve for her. Her son and our oldest were close of an age. This is the first loss of a cousin’s child. Edie I pray your book will be put into the hands of those who need it and that it will help them.
Julie, I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. Praying peace and comfort for you all. Thank you for taking the time to share. God bless!