Grief Needs Help:
My List of Best Resources
If you, or someone you love, is journeying with grief, here are the most comforting and encouraging resources I have found so far:
For anyone who has lost a close family member or friend:
- Griefshare– This website is incredibly helpful and encouraging for anyone who has lost someone they love. To receive the free daily email, just go to their site and put in your email. I read it every morning during that first year after John’s death, usually as soon as I woke up. It was always encouraging, hopeful and short. It gave me a dose of comfort as I faced yet another new day. This organization also offers local support groups through the country. Click here.
- Journeying through Grief by Kenneth Haugk. This series of four books move with you through grief over the first year. The insights were true about where I was in my journey. Also, they are a great way for churches to reach out to people as they go through the first year of loss. Click here.
- Experiencing Grief– This small book by H. Norman Wright (a counselor who has written several books about grief. He is a go-to for reliable insights.) covers the many dimensions of grief in a way that gives you a sense of what you are facing as your journey with grief begins. It is only $3.99 at Amazon. Click here.
- Good Grief Another small book by Granger Westberg that walks you through the different aspects of grief that unfold over time. Click here.
- Streams in the Desert– A devotional book that has brought me the most encouragement in the hardest seasons of my life. Click here
- Jesus Calling– A devotional book that I can’t do without. It is great for everyone, whether they have experienced loss or not. Click here.
Especially for widows:
- From One Widow to Another– by Miriam Neff. This book is my go-to resource. It is practical and encouraging at a deep level. I can’t recommend it enough for widows of any age. To see this book on Amazon, click here.
- Where Do I Go From Here? – also by Miriam Neff. This one was published after John died so I didn’t discover it until recently. It is on my list to read. The subtitle describes where I find myself now: “Bold Living After Unwanted Change.” It is sold out on Amazon but I found it on Barnes & Noble. Click here
- Widow Might– The best and most comprehensive website I have found for widows. It covers practical issues and questions. It is also a good place for close family members, friends and even churches to learn how to encourage and reach out to widows. To go to this site, click here.
- A Widow’s Might– A devotional website for Christian widows who are trying to trust God in the midst of loss. The team of writers all are widows and have combined their gifts to write devotionals and plan retreats. They will send you several devotionals via email each week to encourage you in your journey. They also inexpensively sell their devotionals in seasonal collections so that people who aren’t computer savvy can have them too. To go to this site: anewseason.net/category/widows-might/. For the Love of HER Life: Winter Edition– this link takes you to their Amazon page where they sell the devotionals. Click here.
- Widow Connection– This website can meet several different concerns and needs of widows. There is a place to read stories from other widows, which makes widowhood not feel so lonely. Look for “Your Stories” in the upper right hand banner of the site. Under the “For Widows” banner there are helpful sections: finances, relationships, emotions, and spiritual. The creator of the site, Miriam Neff, was widowed at 61 after her husband’s battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. She has written several books that are helpful as widows find their way forward.
- A New Season– This is a sister devotional website to A Widow’s Might for women who are finding their way after the initial season of grief has quieted. There are frequent devotionals geared to women on a variety of topics, not limited to widows or grief. To go to this site: anewseason.net
- Grace and Grief– LaSandra is a young widow with four children who has a super encouraging presence on several media sites: instagram (graceandgrief), her website, and also the Youtube channel where she records super helpful videos. She is loving and trusting God in a beautiful way.
- Modern Widow’s Club– This online community is all about inspiring widows to live full lives after loss. They have a few local groups around the country but have a strong online group where widows encourage each other, ask practical questions, and vent about the realities of loss. They have a $25 membership fee, which allows you to access their private facebook page. It has been encouraging to me to know that there are other widows who are grappling with many of the same challenges I am facing. (To clarify: it isn’t a Christian group, which is occasionally evident in the topics or advice.) To go this site, click here.
Especially for children coping with loss:
Streams in the Desert for Kids– A kid’s version of the classic devotional. It is probably best for older kids-teens. It would be a great read-aloud at night.
Bible Passages About Grief I Visit Often:
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in You.
Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.
Psalm 27:13-14 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait on the Lord.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength; an ever-present help in times of trouble.
Psalm 119:28 My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
Psalm 94:18-19 When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer; my God is my Rock in whom I take refuge.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Best 24/7 Help is a Relationship with God!
This is an excerpt from my Essentials page on this blog. You can read more on that page about what it means to have a relationship with God.
If you don’t have a relationship with God, my encouragement is to be real about it. God can handle your questions and accusations and doubts. He welcomes seekers. So, I challenge you to ask Him to show you that He is real. What do you have to lose? You have everything to gain.
Here’s a great book that might address some of your honest questions. Start Here: Beginning a Relationship with Jesus (Dwight & Unice).
If you have a relationship with God, but it seems disconnected, don’t try to do faith alone. God made us to be in His family! It is a real family. You have brothers and sisters in faith, and they are amazing people.
- Download the Youversion Bible App. It is free and filled with reading plans on endless topics. It is encouraging to have God’s word right on your phone. Click here!
- Find a church where the emphasis is on knowing God and loving others. Get to know the people there. Look for opportunities to meet with a small group of people. (Email me if you are looking for a church but are having a hard time finding one. Maybe I can help. firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Read the Bible (the books of Psalms and John are two great places to start). If you don’t have one, here’s a favorite that we have recommended over the years: The NIV Quest Study Bible. You might also be encouraged by the book I mentioned above.
- Follow people who encourage your faith on your social media.
- Listen to podcasts that help you process the changes in your life and grow through them. Here are a few of my favorites: Nicole Unice- Let’s Be Real. Emily Freeman- The Next Right Thing The Happy Hour- Jamie Ivey
- There are other podcasts (some by widows) so check them out!