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WEEK 19: FINDING HOPE IN GRIEF

Dear all, here we are at Week 19. I hope you all had a restful and enjoyable bank holiday weekend. This week, my friend Venetia is sharing on Finding Hope in Grief and Loss. Venetia and I met a fair while back now! We used to attend a weekly group together where we could learn and share in our faiths together.


Venetia writes about her experience finding comfort in her faith after losing her Dad last year. It is such a privilege to be able to share these stories and I am thankful to Venetia for sharing how she felt God's presence during this time. Grief is something that we all experience and I pray that we might all know God closer during these times too. Venetia's story reminds me that, when we don't know where to turn to, we can turn to God's promises and to our church family.


 

In Venetia's words...


I've never written for a Christian blog before, but when I heard about the Hope Hour blog I just wanted to share something of our family's story this past year which might bring some hope and peace to those experiencing grief or loss.


MOVING BOXES

Last summer we moved area as a family of 4 from Buckinghamshire to Bedfordshire so that we could afford a bigger home and space for our 2 young boys aged 4 and 8. The move brought many challenges, not least a change of job for me, a new school for our older son and a new nursery for our younger son as well as leaving Amersham after 14 years! Luckily my husband kept the same job in Hertfordshire so we had at least a small bit of stability whilst everything else changed!


We were very excited to finally move in August 2023 after a few of the usual moving delays! I had prayed a lot with my older son using drawing prayer hands! We both had so many worries and wondered whether it would happen at all but finally our prayers had been answered or so we thought!


Bible Verse: Isaiah 43:1-2

Then the unexpected happened, 10 days after we moved my dad suffered a major stroke, involving many trips back home to see him in hospital in Surrey. 7 weeks later we had to say goodbye and he passed away, I was devastated. However this brought our family back to our faith in God. Without knowing how I could help except pray, I sent across Bible passages for my mum and one of my sisters to get the Hospital Chaplain to read to my Dad before he passed away (Isaiah 43:1-7, 1 Corinthians 13 and Psalm 23 - The Lord is My Shepherd). They both found great comfort in this. Later we used some of these passages at Dad's funeral.


Saying goodbye to my Dad was one of the hardest things I've had to do. My Mum and I read those Bible passages and prayed for him in tears (not something we had ever done together before!). We went to our local church St Mary's and felt so much peace and presence of God there.


The night my Dad died I had a dream about him that he was completely healed. I dreamt I was watching a play with my mum in a village hall. Suddenly my Dad appeared at the side of the stage, smiling and waving to us, back how he was when he was completely well. In the morning I woke up to a text message from my mum saying Dad had died peacefully in hospital in the early hours of the morning.


Candle

The day after my Dad died, I had no idea what to do. The family were all grieving and there seemed to be so much anger and no one to connect to or who could understand what each other were feeling. I contacted the vicar and went and lit a candle at St Mary's for my Dad. The church was empty, no one there at all. I felt so lost and alone in my grief but collected some prayer booklets from the church and gave some to my Mum as well, which brought her great comfort.


Our 4 year old was so worried what had happened to Grandpa, we tried to explain he is with the angels now. At St Mary's there are beautiful carved angels inside the church roof. We now go back and our 4 year old always looks up at the roof and says ‘There's Grandpa, with the angels’. Our 8 year old was too upset to attend the funeral but we all still talk about Grandpa a lot. The vicar from St Mary's sent us the Waterbugs and Dragonflies story shortly afterwards which also brought us great comfort.


We will keep connecting with church when we can as it helps us all in our grief and loss so much. Sending love to all, especially those experiencing grief and loss today. Xxx



 

Author: Venetia

Venetia lives in Bedfordshire with her husband Mark and their two young sons aged 4 and 8. She works as a Speech and language therapist for the NHS and loves spending any (rare!) free time seeing family and friends.





 

Thank you all so much for reading this story of God connecting with his people. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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Until next week,

Name: Laura





Founder: Laura

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