Dawn Benson Jones

Growing Deep Roots of Faith for an Enduring Legacy

When You’re Grieving at Easter

A New Perspective

A little over two weeks ago, my grandfather passed away, and a little over a week ago, we were saying our final earthly goodbyes to him. As a result, I am approaching this Easter with a grieving heart. Though this has been a difficult period, it has provided me with an entirely new perspective on the entire Easter season.

The Role of Lent

This year I participated in Lent for the first time ever. Though my original purpose in taking part in Lent was to help remind me of the sacrifice Christ made for me on the cross, I had no idea how God would use it to prepare my heart for what was to come. As I shared in an earlier post, I soon learned that Lent was not about showing God that I appreciated His sacrifice, but instead, it was a time to examine my heart and draw closer to His presence. Looking  back, I can now see how God was using that time to make me more aware of His presence and how He was working, even through difficult circumstances.

The Pain of Loss

I have to admit that when life is going well, it’s sometimes difficult to empathize with the pain that others might be experiencing. Likewise, during past Easters, many times it has been easier to focus on the joy of celebrating with family and loved ones than on the pain and sacrifice that is an integral part of the Easter story. However, the pain associated with such a recent loss has made this Easter more emotionally raw than any other. Longing for the presence of my recently departed loved one makes both the sacrifice of my Heavenly Father and the grief of all of those who loved and walked with Jesus very palpable.

The Promise of New Life

Though the pain associated with Easter has been more intense this year, so has the joy and expectation of celebrating the risen Christ. As I long to be reunited with my grandfather and my other loved ones who have gone before me, I am more grateful than ever for this promise we read in John 11:25:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”   

More than ever, I can’t wait to hear the words of Matthew 28:5-6:

The angel said to the woman, “Do not be afraid, for I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come see the place where he lay.”

I expectantly look forward to proclaiming 1 Corinthians 15:55:

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

The Joy of Hope

If you, like me, find yourself experiencing a period of grief during this Easter season, my hope is that you will find some light shining through the darkness as we celebrate the risen Christ. My prayer is that you will lift your eyes to the heavens and cling to the words of 1 Peter 1:3-5:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

A Prayer of Comfort

Merciful God, thank you for sending Your one and only Son to die for our sins. As we experience our own personal grief during this Easter season, we know it is only a small taste of what You experienced as You watched Your one and only Son take on the sins of the world and die on the cross. Thank you that because of that horrific death we can expectantly look forward to being reunited one day with our loved ones who believed and accepted your amazing gift of eternal life. We ask that You be our source of strength and comfort as we look forward to the glory of the coming resurrection.  -Amen

12 Comments

  1. Beautiful. I’m thankful God was preparing your heart … though I’m so sorry it was to prepare it for such grief. But yes ~ praise God for the hope we have in Christ! Nothing here is eternal. Our hope is in Him.

    • Thank you, RebeccaLynn. Our faith doesn’t mean that we won’t experience times of difficulty and pain, but I am so thankful that it does mean that we don’t have to walk through those seasons alone. God is so good, gracious, faithful, and merciful!

  2. Just lovely. What hope we have!

  3. I know your heart ‘feels’ Easter. You’re grief is still fresh but tomorrow will always feel better. Sending you a warm hug. Happy Easter.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words and virtual hug, Selma. I am thankful for the promise that joy comes in the morning. I hope you had a wonderful Easter!

  4. Dawn, what beautiful words to mark the passing of your beloved grandfather and the celebration of what Jesus is for us today. Each year brings a better understanding of just what His sacrifice meant for us. I pray the memories of your grandfather will sustain you now and for years to come!

    • Thank you for those words of encouragement, Nancy. God is teaching me so much through this entire experience, and I can see His hand everywhere. Have a wonderful Easter!

  5. Dawn, I cannot express how much your message touched me as I read it. I could tell it came directly from your heart. God has given you a very unique gift of writing. I hope you will continue to use it to touch others as I have been touched. We are so blessed fo have the assurance that we will be reunited with our loved ones when the time comes. Love you very much.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and for your love and support during this difficult time. It means the world to me. I am so thankful that we serve a loving God that will never leave us nor forsake us. Love and Hugs!

  6. Dawn,

    I have felt the pain of your loss right with you. I’m so grateful for God’s preparation of your heart, His comfort and His promise. Thank you for sharing all of that here.

    Love – Patty

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