Lament: Grief Mingled with Joy



It has now been over a week since my son, Stephen, left this earth. The beginning of last week was full as we had to make arrangements and notify people. We are experiencing such a range of emotions.



There is much sadness and we lament. But there is also joy, because he is not suffering any more.

Writing is a good way for me to process my feelings and thoughts.

Off and on for the past few days  I’ve been working on a poem. There is lament, a feeling of helplessness, surrender and joy all mixed together in my mind. This poem helps me sort it out.




My beloved son
You have left a gaping hole
Our hearts are broken

 You fought a battle
Day after day you struggled
I felt so helpless

You thought you were weak
But you faced many trials
Never backing down

You had so much pain
No one knew how hard it was
But you kept fighting

As the days wore on
Your strength began to falter
But, yet, you held on

Even when struggling
You told stories to explain
How it felt inside

My heart broke for you
I could not make you better
God had called you home

Now you are alive
Though your body rests nearby
You are in God’s hands

Pain has gone away
Full of joy and whole you stand
I can see your smile



My beloved Stephen



We chose to make his burial as natural as possible. So we chose Ramsey Creek Preserve Cemetery in Westminster, South Carolina. We could not have picked a more beautiful place, right down the South Ridge Trail. I will write about it in a future post.



When we arrived home after the funeral last Tuesday, there was a gorgeous sunset. What a beautiful gift from God!


lament and joy


Then, over a few days’ time, I painted my own watercolor interpretation of that sunset.


My painting of the sunset


In Grief: Thoughts from a Mother’s Heart, you can read the account of my last hours with Stephen. Below is a page from my gratitude journal. These verses give such hope.



Whatever you are going through right now, I pray that you, too, will find comfort in God’s word, through friends and family and even in nature.


I’m linking up with: #InspireMeMonday

15 thoughts on “Lament: Grief Mingled with Joy

  1. Oh Gayl,
    This is just such a beautiful expression from your heart. As I felt your lament, tears came to my eyes too. But the Joy of the Lord, to see Stephen whole with our Savior now, is such a gift. Thank you for sharing your open heart here with all of us. You have brought such comfort from the Lord into such a hard place. I pray that He will continue to bless you through words, paintings, and gifts of nature. Love you so much.

    1. Thank you so much for your support, dear Bettie. One day I will hug you in person. For now it will have to be across the miles. Much love to you with many blessings, my dear sister/poet/friend! xoxo

  2. Gayle, I am glad that you are writing and painting as you grieve. It is hard to release a son, even knowing he is in God’s hands. I have a son (Steven) who has gone to be with the Lord before me. Grace, pain, loss, God’s comfort and care all mixed together.

    1. The writing and painting do help a lot. I see you understand what I’m going through. But we will both see our sons again one day, though we miss them so much now. God is so faithful to send comfort through His word and friends and other family members. Blessings to you, Carol!

  3. Gayl, I am so sorry for your loss. May the Holy Spirit continue to wrap you in his comfort as you process your great loss. Thank you for sharing your heart and your beautiful poem.

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