Celebrating Life in the Midst of Grief

By on May 24, 2017
Celebrating Life in the Midst of Grief

By Norine Rae –

There is joy in sorrow and there is peace in despair as we look to Jesus to comfort us in our dark hours. This week is my son’s birthday and as the day approaches I reflect on his life here on earth with thanksgiving in my heart. It seems impossible, yet it is true as I put my trust in God; I know that Ian is in a better place where he no longer struggles with the issues of this world.

Ian went to be with the Lord on June 23rd, 2015 just two short years ago due to a drug overdose. The time has been mixed with emotion and yet I want to share with you what I feel the Lord spoke to me. It has really helped me through this difficult time. Many say the greatest pain is losing a child. Yet, there are countless hardships in this world so I hate to define one’s heartbreak as more excruciating than another. All pain is difficult whether it is from the death of a loved one, divorce, bankruptcy, loss of a career, or chronic sickness. The good news is we have a Savior and Comforter in Christ Jesus. He eases our pain and He gives us beauty for ashes. It is a promise for all those who follow Him.


So, you may be wondering what is the key or what did Jesus say to help me relieve the pain.  Surely there has been pain, and some days are harder than others.  He said, “I want you to celebrate the time you had with Ian rather than focusing on the loss for he was a gift from me and he is with me.” It was than that I made a conscious decision to give thanks once again for the years I had with Ian and all that I learned from him. He enriched my life and I know that I enriched his.

In this process of grief I have also learned that it is okay to acknowledge Ian’s life and death. He is still a big part of my life and it’s good to share stories about him. I’ve learned that I am not alone in my grief and my joy. Other’s loved him and they too feel a loss. I can be an encouragement to them if I allow them the opportunity to share their feelings whether good or bad. Reaching out to family and friends has helped me so much during tough days. There are times that I have had to forgive myself for things I felt I should have done better while at the same time recognizing that his death was not my fault.

 Really, I don’t have to blame anyone. Blame shifting whether it is God we blame, ourselves, the person who died or someone else will not bring our loved one back. By moving forward and changing my focus from one of blame, shame, and regret, to one of gratefulness for the “gift” in my case for the years I got to share with Ian has given me greater joy and peace. When I hear songs or see things, which remind me of him I may have a tear in my eye, but I also have joy in my heart knowing that he is with the Lord. My prayer for you is that you too will find joy and peace in the gifts you have been given whether you have lost someone dear or still have them around you. Embrace your loved ones encouraging them on their journey for everyday is precious.


Norine currently travels internationally with Aflame International Ministries you can find more of Norine’s explorations at aimadventures.org and norinerae.com.


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Celebrating Life in the Midst of Grief