How To Be A First Responder In the Midst of Loss

As I was writing the story I planned to share this week, I received a text from an old friend. Her father had just passed away, and she was reaching out to let me know. Our families lived on the same block, and we grew up together. I knew him for as long as I could remember, and some of my earliest memories were of us playing outside together as children. Just last week I smiled after seeing him and his wife on my old wedding video.

Her next words caused a complete shift inside of me.

“I could sure use your words right now!!”

MY WORDS? I immediately stopped writing and prayed. My words are absolutely useless without God’s blessing on them. I asked for the right words to share with my friend in that moment.

Having been there 7 months ago, I recalled exactly how I felt the first morning I woke up after my brother’s death. My heart ached for the pain I knew she was feeling, and I just wanted to respond in a way that brought her a measure of comfort.

Sometimes when I write, I’m sharing a story of encouragement, or maybe a lesson that I’ve learned. And every now and then I find myself ministering through writing. Ministry doesn’t require a theology degree or authorization, but just a heart to serve someone in their time of need.

I don’t focus on what I’ve lost, but on what he gained. 

With my friend’s permission, I’m sharing those same words with you, and if you or someone you know is dealing with the loss of a loved one, or struggling during this holiday period as you remember loved ones, I pray this somehow lessons your grief ever so slightly.

My mind went back to that first morning I woke up and realized that Ty was gone. 

That feeling in your stomach that you just can’t get rid of, and the unbelievable space that you feel like you are in. Make sure you acknowledge every emotion you are going through as you grieve your dad. And draw upon that strength to be strong for your family. 

I pray that you come to know the comfort of God like never before. Know that He was not surprised by this and had been prepared for this moment since the day your dad was born. He will supply every intangible need that you have as you walk through this. Make sure He is your first option when you are overwhelmed. Give the Holy Spirit the opportunity to truly be what He is…your Comforter. That’s what He does and who He is.

I’m not going to be super spiritual because this is definitely a human encounter that we have to walk through, and we need to acknowledge both the spiritual and human aspect of it. Mr. Leroy saw the face of Jesus last night. He is chillin with Him today, and a huge reunion is going on with so many family members. I continuously thought about that after Ty passed and it brought me so much comfort. His race is done, he received his reward. And as he crossed that finish line, he heard the words, “Well done thy good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord.” 

And sis, that is JOY he will experience forever more! And we bless God for this, in the midst of our pain.

I miss Ty, but I don’t focus on what I’ve lost, but on what he gained. 

By the time I finished writing, I had tears in my eyes. Grief is like that – it can creep up at any moment. But as I went through and re-read what I sent her again, my pain felt bittersweet. If only we could really know what our loved ones in heaven were truly experiencing. If we knew the level of euphoria that they were feeling in the presence of the Lord, the pain of their absence here may not hurt as much. And maybe we would anticipate the eventual day we will join them and experience it for ourselves.

As Believers, we know this life is only a temporary experience that we are passing through. We are literally living this life with the blessed hope of seeing our Lord in heaven when our designated time on earth has ended. When we take our last breath, our purpose in this human life will have been fulfilled and we’ll spend eternity in a place greater than our minds could ever comprehend.

As we are seeing unprecedented loss of life all across the world due to COVID-19, I invite you to be a minister to those who may be dealing with the death of a loved one. Maybe your ministry is listening? Or praying? Providing a meal? Recalling a happy memory? Sharing a scripture or encouragement? Or maybe sending a thoughtful card?

We are ministers of hope and comfort – God has given it to us, so that we could give it to others in their time of need. Won’t you pass it on?


Today’s story is about the loss of life, but pray about how you can minister to someone who has experienced any kind of loss – Loss of homes, relationships, jobs, possessions, health, or even a loss of hope.

There is a minister inside of you. Ask God how you can meet their needs.

If you don’t have this hope in everlasting life that I shared today, as long as you are breathing, you have an opportunity to ask Jesus into your heart. Won’t you invite Him in today?

You can find more comfort at my previous blogs:

Feel free to respond in the comments section… and share this story with someone in your life that could use the encouragement.  Follow Destined 4 the Dub for the Inspiration each week as we journey through the highs and lows of life!

2 thoughts on “How To Be A First Responder In the Midst of Loss

  1. So BEAUTIFUL Tonya, I am thinking of all loved ones gone on, Mom, son so many family and church members, Yes there is Joy in knowing that we shall see each other again, as ALWAYS thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. God bless you and your family

    1. Thank you! Writing this brought so many loved ones to mind. I really do rejoice that they are in a perpetual state of Joy and we will see them again. Thank you so much for supporting me and for your encouragement ❤️

Leave a Reply