A thought to pass along


One of the reasons God is so faithful to help us through rough times is so we can encourage others when they are suffering.

If you missed yesterday’s post, this will make more sense if you check it out…

so we will wait for you.


now that we are all on the same page…


Today I want to touch on the importance of taking time to grieve.

Several months into our new normal, as I got my dad, mom and a bonus aunt with dementia, settled into nursing facilities to meet their various needs…after completely transplanting them from their home in Kentucky…I found I was crying.


I cried so much I developed an infection around the delicate area encircling both eyes.

Anyone who knows me knows I am prone to tears, but this was beyond even my ability to cope with.

I finally went to see our pastor, who happens to also be our good friend, to seek some godly counsel and figure out if I was just straight up going crazy.

In simple words, he helped me see that I was not crazy (or at least any crazier than I had been before) but instead I was going through profound grief.


I still had all my kin very, very, very ever-so-frustratingly very, ALIVE.

I tend to think of grief only in terms of my response to someone passing away.

But grief is about loss and I was suffering some losses.

Loss of our family as we had known it.

Loss viewed in the eyes of my husband and our children as the dynamics of our life were turned upside down and they now shared me with three others.

Loss of that comfortable distance that had been established by a set of parents that had gone where they pleased and did what they wanted my entire life and now were completely dependent on me.

Loss of freedom when our children were in school because now I was toting them to doctor’s appointments, playing Bingo, missing my kids events to attend activities at the nursing home. Answering angry calls at all hours and advocating for each of them with staff in three facilities.


Those were all losses, but I found this phrase to be the most helpful to me that day as Pastor Wayne explained to me that I was not only grieving the sudden and dramatic change to our family life as we had known it…

I was grieving the loss of what I would never have.

A light went on as I suddenly realized the truth of this…while I had the physical representation of my father very much alive in my present world every single day…the father I had known was gone.

Whatever our relationship had been, there would never be more to it in terms of depth.

Whatever I hoped to have as a father-daughter relationship was at that point, pretty much over.

And that was the crux of my tears.

It’s a strange grief to mourn the loss of someone who is very much alive…

very much in need of your care and your love…

and yet completely inaccessible in a tangibly relational way.

A strange grief indeed.


That day I determined to find a way to grieve properly. For the sake of my family at home, I knew I had to stop crying all the time.

So after prayer, I decided to forego wearing any jewelry except my watch and wedding ring for a period of time as an outward sign to myself that I was in mourning.

I am attracted to shiny things…so the absence of these adornments was a gentle reminder to me that I needed time to let God heal me.

One of our daughters noticed I wasn’t wearing my beloved bling one day and asked why.

When I shared with her, she joined me for a time.

After awhile, she was released from her commitment to share my burden in this way, but she told me she would continue to pray for me.

After another period of time she told me she had something for me when my time of mourning had ended.

Eventually, I felt I had properly grieved.

I felt strengthened again to move into the new normal of our life…so I told her I would be ending my time of grief.

That next morning I found a little package of multiple silver earrings and a note from her rejoicing with me to move forward in a healed and whole way.


I still hold those earrings dearly in my assortment of jewelry.

They are a reminder to me of the support and love God gave me through Russ and our children during one of the hardest seasons in my life up to that point.

They are a reminder of the importance of identifying and acknowledging times of loss and properly grieving.

In quiet ways we can hold our brokeness to God and allow Him to do what only He CAN do <3

If you are dealing with the grief of loss of someone you love … whether it is Alzheimer or some other disease or disability, deception or distance…take time to grieve.

Ask God to show you how to pull away, in some way, from the distractions of life and to fully mourn what has been lost to you.

Let God heal you.

If you do not have a support system, find one.

For those who are struggling with the grief and loss associated with caring for a victim of Alzheimer, our church offers a wonderful support group led by Carol Smith that meets the third Thursday of the month at First Christian Church Decatur.

And speaking of Carol….

she is the contact lady for purchasing tickets for the Walk to End Alzheimer dinner (this is a pick up and take home dinner!!)


It’s easy-peasy to participate…and here’s what you can do:

  1. By leaving a comment, sharing this post OR signing up to receive the blog by email…you will be entered into a drawing to win….



two tickets from Russ and me to you <3

*for obvious reasons….make sure you can actually USE the tickets…so while I HOPE to hear from ALL of you…only those within driving distance will be entered in the drawing <3

2. I also encourage you to consider purchasing tickets…

as well as spreading the word about the fundraiser.

It’s a win-win as you get a good dinner and more funds are raised to find answers to this disease.

You can buy  tickets for $10 by contacting Carol Smith at 217-422-1877.

Dinners will be ready for pickup between 4:30 PM and 6:30 PM at Holy Cross Lutheran Church on Thursday, November 17th.

Drawing for the two tickets will be this Friday afternoon…

so make sure to…


enter your  comment


 sign up for the email


share the post

by noon Friday <3


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  1. Wow! I am living this with my mom right now! She can still visit in the moment, but does not completely follow a line of conversation…even when I am trying to have it one on one. She has so little short term memory that when I visit her, she will not remember it even later in the day. She is in memory care, and Marc and I go to sing to her( him) and hold her hand,p ( me) pray with her and hug her, and just love her. We can still bring her to our home for short visits..and then there are drs appointments, getting her hair cut, etc. I grieve a bit every time I am with her…She was a wonderful mom..and I miss that ! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and journey! It does help, especially when I am advocating for her, or getting late night oe early morning phone calls! She is so worth it and I do understand this time with her is a gift from God, even though it is a struggle and challenging! Love you Laura.. May God bless you again and again!

    1. Teresa, I didn’t know. Bless you. Yes, it is difficult and yet a blessing to honor your parent with that care. Be encouraged and stay connected please! Love you!!!

  2. I had to cry at this one. God is so good. This morning I was pretty blue about just what you are talking about. The thought that things will never be as they once were with Mom here, and what a loss it is to my family (even though she was in the nursing home for so long). But, I repeat, God is so good. I turned on Moody Radio and the song they were playing was It Is Well With My Soul, mom’s favorite song which Leslie sang at her funeral. I will continue to grieve, though like you, I grieved much while she was still alive, but I see God at every turn and hear Him saying “It is well with her soul now-more so than it has ever been.”
    Thanks Laura!

    1. Oh Sweet Susan <3 You made ME cry dear one. You tended your mom well and you honored her with your care AND with your life. I can say that though I never knew your mom, I know she was a wonderful woman because I have been blessed to know her daughter. And yes, God is so faithful and kind...sends just the right song, or word, or friend at just the right time and always there is His attending Presence to hold us together. He really does SUSTAIN all things <3 Love you so much Susan. Wish I could give you a big old hug right now!

  3. Laura, having worked in the funeral service industry for a time, I didn’t fully grasp the process of grief. Through that time I realized that, not only grief be for someone very much alive, but also, the loss of friends, family, support people and a church can also be a source. I also learned that there is no time-frame on grief. Each individual must go through that process at their own pace and in their own way. Most often, although they mean well, people want to “fix” you. The only one that can fix a broken heart is Christ himself. Thank you for blessing us with your wisdom and transparency!

    1. Oh Karen – so very true. I always think of how each person in a family grieves differently and for different amounts of time. I can not believe when I hear someone say that friends or family have tired of their grieving and just want them to move on. There is a waiting that is tender as our loved ones patiently sit beside us for however long it takes. Thank you Karen. God bless you <3

  4. YES!! Sadly I don’t think people that haven’t experienced it can understand. I cried a lot too, but I was angry also. Not ‘at’ mom, but at the disease and what it was stealing from me. I would look at her sitting in her chair and just bawl (especially if I had been short with her because she asked me the same question 50 times and I was exhausted)…..as this woman who had always cared for me was totally helpless and mentally aging backwards….rapidly.
    And a support system is a must for anyone with loved ones suffering with any sort of mental or physical decline.

    1. Oh Cathy – I understand. I used to say I stayed about twenty minutes with my dad because in that twenty minutes we would cycle through the same short conversation over and over and he didn’t remember and I was getting frustrated. I knew he didn’t know why I was irritated so I would just hug him and tell him I loved him and leave. So hard. Don’t let Satan throw guilt at you!!! You are and were a good and loving daughter – and God knows our limitations – that’s why we have GRACE!!!!! Hugs to you <3

  5. Beautiful, sweet Laura! I took time this morning to grieve with you, and I’m still crying . I’m at a loss for words ( now, that’s s new one) . I’m thankful you have the gift of such Godly counsel as Pasror Wayne , as he, too, knows your pain.
    One of the most beautiful quotes I’ve ever read, because of the truth in it, is:
    “Friends multiply your joy and divide your grief.” God has surrounded you with countless friends, Laura, and we will each carry a portion of your grief, and hopefully, make it possible for you to handle your burden at this time. You are precious to each of us, as you are to God, and you are loved.
    My prayer is the God lifts you into His arms and holds you so close to him on this new journey of yours, and strengthens you for the task. I cannot tell you how much the Gokens love you. ❤️

    1. Awww sweet Susie….my dad passed away in 2010…the last of the three…he held on the longest, God bless him <3
      I journaled through that time and those thoughts and memories remain intact so that I can share with others who are currently in the trenches. Love you Susie - thank you <3

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