Thinking of the Good Times can Bring Joy in Grief


The Five Minute Friday word for this week is grief. I’ve thought a lot about that subject this month as it is an anniversary not only of my oldest son’s birth but also his death. It’s hard to believe a whole year has gone by since God took him home. Not a day passes that we don’t miss him, but thinking of the good times bring memories alive.

thinking of good times
Stephen, a few years ago enjoying his uncle’s boat and house in Maine

As I pondered the word a poem began to come to me. I thought about how grief and joy can be felt at the same time, as I wrote in Lament: Grief Mingled with Joy. Thinking of the good times with Stephen, like our trips to Maine, remind me of his joy as he caught his first fish.

His first fish ever!

Here is the poem which took seven minutes rather than five. It might be a rough draft, but it’s from my heart.


Sharing Thoughts of Grief 

Grief knows no favorites
Often coming unannounced
Dropping its burning coals
Letting them fall wherever they may

No one is exempt from its clutches
Grief comes in many forms like
Memories to open the tear ducts
Letting them pour uncontrollably

Grief is not something we like
Yet there is healing, too, that
Comes as we shed the tears
Letting them share our emotions

Grief is not pleasant but
Necessary for our growth as
We contemplate what we have lost
Letting our hearts feel pain

But in feeling the pain we
Confront our emotions in order
To acknowledge our grief in our loss
Letting memories wash over us

Grief keeps our memories alive
Comfort comes as we pour out our
Hearts to God, knowing He hears
Letting His love wash over us

Joy can exist with grief
Memories of our loved ones
Bring to mind good times past
Letting sorrow mix with joy

I wrote more about grief a year ago shortly after we lost our son in Grief: Thoughts from a Mother’s Heart. Have you experienced grief? What are your thoughts about good memories and joy mixed with grief?

I’m linking up with: #FiveMinuteFriday, #InspireMeMonday

24 thoughts on “Thinking of the Good Times can Bring Joy in Grief

  1. Such a beautiful, heartfelt poem. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to lose a child. There are no words. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

    1. Thank you, Sandra. No, it’s not the way it’s supposed to be, but one day God will make all things new. And I have joy knowing he is not suffering and I will see him again. Blessings to you!

  2. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart so openly. Praying continued healing to your heart and family. I’m your neighbor at FMF this week #35.

  3. Oh, Gayl. I have no words but these, for you…they come from the whole of my heart, with love.

    I’m sorry for your loss, my friend,
    and words seem cheap and vain
    for the sorrow without end,
    for the stabbing pain
    that cuts the heart right clean in two,
    that salts the open wound,
    that hurts as nothing else can do,
    and leaves the soul marooned
    on a strange and lonely isle
    that sails a shoreless sea,
    only lit by wistful smile
    and brighter certainty
    you’ll see your lost again, one day,
    when all old tears are washed away.

    1. Andrew, thank you so much for your beautiful response. Yes, one day all the tears will be washed away. Blessings to you, dear brother! May God fill you with His peace and comfort.

  4. Oh Dear Gayl,
    What precious words and thoughts you have shared here. I am so thankful that God gave expression for you to share your heart in this poetry. My heart is so deeply moved. You are in my prayers so much this month, and I am sending you big hugs and love across the miles. xoxo

  5. Dear Gayl, this poem is heartbreakingly beautiful, written with great feeling and sensitivity. You have perfectly depicted the strange conundrum of joy coexisting with grief, tempering it with soft reminders of Gods continuing goodness and grace. May you sense His loving arms around you, bringing you renewed comfort, hope and strength. Much love, gentle hugs and prayers. xoxo 💜

    1. Dear Joy, thank you so much! I appreciate your kind and loving words, hugs, love and prayers. May God also fill you with His love and peace, strength and comfort! Much love to you, dear sister! xoxo

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