Been quite a week for me – Went to bed sick on Sunday and am still basically in bed as I write this (on Thursday), although I think I am starting to crawl out of my hole. Antibiotics, chest x-ray, many of you are probably familiar with the drill. Hope your week has been a bit better.

I noticed something on Facebook a few days back and, with the author’s permission, I would like to share it with you. It is a short piece about grief and choice. Karen Nicola, the author, and her husband, Steve, have been good friends of mine for many years and I am glad to pass on her insight and wisdom to you. Her bio and contact information follow.


MONDAY MOURNING:  What if grief was an option? Who would take it?  Can’t think of too many who would willingly sign up for that kind of uncertain full body slam.  While mourners cannot choose to wake up tomorrow and find themselves in a different emotional, mental, and physical continent, we can choose how we will travel the unfamiliar terrain in which we find ourselves.

So let’s talk a little about the freedom of choice and how that influences the outcome of our crushed souls.  We can choose to do things that contribute to wellness.  Even with limited appetite, we can choose healthy foods to eat; we can take additional vitamins and minerals to enhance our body’s health.  Any outdoor exercise improves our circulation and thus increases our capacity to deal with the surges of emotional tides.  We can choose what we listen to and allow music to be a calming influence in our daily routine.  We can choose to write about our process.  Keeping a special book that captures our pain is a safe and useful tool of releasing the whirlpool of fear, guilt, blame, shame, anger, pain, sorrow, and despair.  Have you imagined the potential of choosing healing?  Sometimes the bereaved believe that clinging to our pain is evidence of our unending devotion to the one we dearly love.  Choosing to heal can be one of the most difficult choices we make.  Healing has no predetermined process; it comes differently for each one. Choosing healing actually demonstrates respect for the deceased in that we are allowing their absence to create space for us to become whole again and even deeper, richer individuals than before.

This kind of healing comes from a Higher Power than ourselves. Choosing to trust God with the process of healing just might be our most important choice of all. How would it work if we made just made one conscious choice each day to move towards health and healing?  We might find that one day leads to the next and the uncertain terrain of living apart from the one we love is moving us further from darkness and brokenness and nearer to an open, mended, and giving heart.

Karen Nicola writes and speaks encouragement that comes from her own experience with God and His Word as she worked through her grief following her three-year-old son’s death from leukemia.  Now, more than twenty-five years later, Karen continues to be passionate about the hope of God’s healing for our brokenness.  She is also aware that many struggle to know how to comfort those who mourn, so she is eager to encourage the encouragers too.  Through her book, Comfort for the Day, readers encounter two of God’s most effective healing tools; His word and journaling opportunities. Karen maintains a web site that runs two blogging conversations; one for the bereaved and the other for those comforting them. Visit for more information. When she is not leading seminars, she thrives in the high school classroom, teaching international students at Rio Lindo Adventist Academy.  But her favorite activities involve anything to do with her family.