Letter to a Friend in the Wake of Loss

My friend has now joined the countless number of those who suffer with the loss of a parent. But my friend is only in her early twenties, and somehow when you are in your twenties, death seems a far distant reality. Death doesn’t often invade the thoughts of those who spend college evenings cramming for tests and late-night runs to the pancake shop.

Death is hard no matter what your age. And for those of us who’ve experienced the loss of a parent, we know that there is a significant tearing away of the foundation of our childhood that throws us into a grief-filled search for stability. The loss of a parent brings a jolt to our sense of security in the old and familiar comforts from the past.

In the wake of her loss, I sent my friend a few notes that I hoped would help her to process her loss. Perhaps you are walking the pain filled path of a similar loss today, or know someone who is. Maybe share these thoughts with them?

Precious Friend ~

Allow your heart time to process and reflect. The pain will continue to deepen for awhile, but there will come a day (it is on down the road) when you will recognize that the pain is accompanied by peaceful acceptance, then eventually a type of healing. Don’t feel guilty about having such deep sorrow right now, that sorrow over losing your loved one is a right and good response.

Your sorrow is a holy expression of love for a good gift from your Heavenly Father, and it is right to grieve such a precious loss. Your earthly father was a good gift from God for a special season of your life (James 1:17) and now is the season for weeping (Eccl.3:1–8). Don’t try to run from the pain. Lean into the pain, but as you do, remind yourself that Jesus is well acquainted with sorrow and desires to shoulder this for you (Isa. 53:3).

Invite Jesus into the deepest places of your suffering and experience the fellowship of suffering that yokes your heart to His (Phil. 3:8–10)

In your sorrow, there will be days you feel overwhelmed with the loss, but fight to continue clinging to the truth of God’s providence, sovereignty, and love (Rom. 8:22–39). Remind yourself repeatedly of His love and faithfulness that He displayed on the cross.

Don’t be ashamed of the grief, but grieve as one who has HOPE. Hope is a settled confidence in God’s ability to bring life from death. Hope is based on His steadfast love for us. Focus on that love and He will provide you with the hope and faith you need to navigate your pain and loss.

The Father sees your suffering, He knows, and He cares. Although you cannot see it now, He will use your pain for His glory if you allow Him to. If I am truly committed to God’s glory, and my will is surrendered to glorifying Him, no matter what, then I will fully embrace every affliction He appoints for me (Ps. 119:75).

Love and prayers for you, dear one ~


Image courtesy of anankkml/


  • Julie Musil

    Kimberly, I’m so sorry for your friend’s loss. Your words to her were comforting and beautiful. They were soothing to me, for I am going through grief of a different kind. Thanks for sending such hope into the world.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Thank you so much, Julie, for your consistent ministry of kindness to me as your daily comments flood me with encouragement!

    I am so sorry for your loss. Death of a dream, death of a plan for the future, loss of a friend, estrangement from a prodigal child, disappointment in a mentor or spiritual leader, divorce, abandonment, adultery, and church splits . . . there are so many “deaths” we may experience in a brief lifetime. But I am so very thankful that there is one loss we will never experience. For those of us who’ve received the atoning work of Christ, He will never abandon us, never leave or desert us . . . His steadfast love is secure (Heb. 13:5–6).

    Pausing to pray for you to experience sweet comfort through the pain of loss ~

  • Gaye

    Dear Kim,
    Thank you so much for these words of encouragement. I know so many who need this message, including myself. I wish I could have read this after the loss of both of my parents. It was such a difficult time in my life. Then, having to sell their house which was my childhood home. I also recently experienced a great loss that was heartbreaking and very painful. I agree that it takes time to grieve over your loss, but God can use this time to help you draw closer to him as He heals your heart. Sometimes, it is a slow, painful process. But, as the old saying goes, Time heals all wounds. But, it does take time & grieving is part of the process. Thank you for your ministry to women. I read your blog everyday but don’t often comment. Your words of wisdom & encouragement are priceless!! Everybody could use a little encouragement these days. Thank you again. God bless you & Bro LeRoy in your ministry.

  • Jill

    Julie, I see your uplifting comments daily after I read Kimberly’s encouraging words each morning. I thank each of you for daily inspiration and strength as I conquer another day. Each of us have some type of loss in our hearts, but with God’s salvation we will win! Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. I will be lifting you in prayers for a better day and even better tomorrow. Peace and Love to you my friend! Jill 🙂

  • Pauline Butler

    Thank you for these posts on grieving, Kim. Thank you for honestly sharing your heart. I know it’s been five years since the death of your dad, but I am truly sorry for the great loss you feel. These messages have been very timely, as I’ve lost three dear ones in less than a year, two within the past month and a half. As my parents’ health is failing, the reality is that death may not be all that far away for them. Death is indeed very near, even as near as a neighbor I visited today who has been very ill for a long time. Sometimes the loss or anticipation of it does seem overwhelming and I get this sinking feeling inside. But, then, as you said “I cling to the truth of God’s providence, sovereignty and love”. He keeps me from sinking.

    Julie, I’m sorry for your grief as well. Trusting that God will continue to bring hope and comfort to your grieving heart.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Gaye ~

    So good to hear from you! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. Your kind words are so encouraging. I had no idea you read the blog, so glad to know you’re joining me here every day.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your losses, wish we could’ve been able to walk with you through that. It is so helpful to have praying friends to love and support you during those difficult seasons. Praying you sense God’s peace and abiding presence dear friend.

    We often think of you and Butch. Hope all is well with your family!

    Love you ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Oh, Pauline, I am so very sorry for your losses. I am thankful that you are able to process those losses with a God-centered perspective. Most of the world know nothing of the comfort and hope for the future that He provides. Thank you for sharing.

    Pausing to pray for you now, friend ~