Posted by Linda Handzel

I am thankful for ten years of God’s unfailing help. Ten years of lessons learned, prayers answered and daily Divine guidance.

But I am also thankful for tears that would not stop, because I understand the pain a widow feels while she sobs in my arms.

I am thankful for months of sleeplessness. Now I can recommend sleeping aids, and assure her that God is in the stillness of the night.

I am thankful that I spent unending hours on the phone talking through business decisions with people I did not know, about documents I did not understand. There were times I sat at my desk sobbing over obscure paperwork written in unknown verbiage. Now I know how to advise a widow, or I can tell her whom to call to get the answers she needs.

I am thankful that people said stupid, hurtful things, making it clear they had no idea what I was going through. Now I ask a widow: “Would we really want them to know what we know?”

I am thankful there were no pat answers to soothe my searing soul while I watched my children crawl through dark halls of crushing grief. Because of that I have advice to offer young widows about their own broken-hearted children. 

I know things that others do not know. I understand we do not get over grief, but instead we adjust to it. Although I laugh more now and cry less than I did nine years ago, I have come to realize we will always miss Michael, and there will always be unanswered questions. 

I can tell a widow that God hears her weeping in the dark, and knows the groans deep in her heart. He promises to give wisdom when she need answers. He is walking ahead of her, and is already in tomorrow making it ready for her arrival. 

I am thankful I can offer hope to hurting people in the midst of their heartache and horror. Last week I hugged a grieving grandmother, and told her I had never lost a grand child, but I did understand grief. Where would that credibility come from if I had not suffered crippling loss?

I have been chosen to walk this path, and I am thankful. Life is short, eternity is forever, and God will make this journey worth it when we reach the other side!

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

 Romans 8:18 


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“Linda, once again your writing has brought me to tears. God did answer your prayers - you have a fantastic son who is a blessing to many in his church.


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