My best friend died. Grief was entirely new to me. Oh, people I loved had died before – aunts and uncles, grandparents, and so on.
I was sad when those people died; I missed them. I even wondered about their eternal rest, but I felt comfortable in knowing that they were in Heaven, and I always figured that if Heaven turned out not to exist, it didn’t matter anyway because we’d be dead and wouldn’t know it.
I know that’s a morbid way to look it, but that’s how my mind worked.
I grew up with church and God and faith, but I’d never before experienced any challenge to that faith.
After the death of my friend, I encountered a challenge, one I wasn’t sure I could surmount. I felt I was taking too long to grieve. I worried that people around me would get tired of me. “Get over it,” I told myself.
I’d heard that often growing up. My parents raised me with that attitude. Life is tough. Get over it and move on.
I thought something must be wrong with me because, try as I might, I could not get over my friend’s death. I literally felt a part of me missing, and I didn’t know how to get it back.
He was dead. Gone. And it physically hurt me. I never knew grief physically hurt like that – like something had been ripped from me. In a lifetime of never feeling quite good enough, he had filled that role in me. He was my ‘goodness’.
I logically know (and knew then) that we should never define ourselves by another person, but I always had, and I struggled to set that belief of mine aside. He always made me feel good enough; he took time to listen to me, share with me, laugh with me, cry with me.
No one else knew the real me like he did. Without him, I didn’t know how I could ever be me again.
After a period of time (a very long period of time), I turned to God for help. Nothing else had made any difference. I bought a new Bible, Contemporary English Version so that I could easily understand it, and encased it in a beautiful Thomas Kinkade Cover.
I clung to that Bible hugging it closely to me as often as I could. It went everywhere with me, even to work. Just touching it made me feel better. Opening it and running my fingers over the pages calmed my grief as I thought of and actually felt the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
In the months and months following my friend’s death, I read everything I could about death and dying. I tried to understand exactly what it meant, to be dead.
I asked God for proof constantly that His Word was real, and I found myself going back over particular scriptures regularly, ingraining them in me so that they became a part of me…not something I read and tried to absorb from the outside in but actually a part of the living, breathing me.
These scriptures about grief helped me the most:
1. Psalm 100:5 His love and faithfulness will last forever.
Forever. His love and faithfulness won’t only last while we are here on this earth, but it will last forever. Always. For eternity. Amen!
2. Psalm 16:7-11 I praise you, Lord, for being my guide. Even in the darkest night, your teachings fill my mind. I will always look to you, as you stand beside me and protect me from fear. With all my heart, I will celebrate, and I can safely rest. I am your chosen one. You won’t leave me in the grave or let my body decay. You have shown me the path to life, and you make me glad by being near to me.
God is our guide. No matter how difficult our lives can be here on earth, He is always with us. He’ll never abandon us. Through Him, we know how to live, here on earth and for eternity. We know joy because of our God.
3. Matthew 5:4 God blesses those people who grieve. They will find comfort.
It’s okay to grieve. We love strongly, and we grieve strongly. Fortunately, God will comfort us in our grief when we turn to Him.
4. Philippians 4:7 God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand.
Once we can truly give our grief to God and be comforted by Him, we will know the peace from His promise of everlasting life.
5. Hebrews 11:1 Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.
With our faith, we have proof that our loved ones are okay.
6. Philippians 2:15-16 Try to shine as lights among the people of this world, as you hold firmly to the message that gives life.
We’re still here on earth for a reason, to make it His kingdom. We know Him and know what it means to truly live.
7. Colossians 1:5 Because what you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven.
We hope our loved ones still exist. We pray they are safe and at peace. God tells us it is true.
Years ago, when I first clung to these scriptures, they comforted me because of the hope they offered. At that time, it was only hope. I hadn’t yet completely put my trust in Him. Now, because I’ve come to trust, I find they bring me even more – comfort, hope, excitement, joy, faith, love.
I pray they help you, too.
Free Printable – 7 Scriptures to Help Survive Grief
In my early days of grief, I wanted something tangible to carry with me, so I made a printable version of these scriptures. Click HERE or on the image below to open your free copy.
Surviving grief isn’t easy, but you aren’t alone. Here are more posts on grief and grieving:
What scriptures to help with grief do you know? Please share in the comments below.