Grief in the Season of Joy

(Part 1 of 4 in the “Grief in a Season of Joy” series)

In this season of anticipation, I ought to be anticipating not only the birth of the Messiah, but also the halfway point of my fourth pregnancy. Instead, I find myself grieving loss, recognizing that grief is not always something you can defer to a ‘more opportune time’.

At an Advent retreat last week, I sensed an invitation to begin posting what I’ve written during my grief process, even though Christmas is nearly upon us.

So, for those of you who grieve your own losses in this season of joy, the next few weeks are for you! May you find the freedom to be present with grief as we remember the moment God came to dwell with us, pain and all.


To a Little One I may not get to meet

Tonight I cradle you gently, inside
Not knowing for how long
If you go straight to your heavenly home
And skip ours
At least you were at home for a little while
Here with me

I love you,
and would love to hold you
And see you be held by your daddy and brothers
I love you,
and would love to know you,
To see your sweet face and hear your name said aloud
I love you
And I pray unceasingly
That these moments will come to pass

But, whether we stay here together
Or go down into the valley
You will know how much you are loved
At the right time


 In the Valley

Seven days ago, life hung sweetly over me,
Multiplying and creating joy
Today, I walk feebly in the shadow of death
As pain births blood and loss

Two moments
A lifetime apart
Separated only by seven days

I have waited with impatience for blood
Forty-two weeks into new life,
Anticipating joy and change

I have waited with dread,
Thirty-four weeks to go,
Trying to ward off blood in prayer

And as the blood pours, the anticipation lost,
I wish to leave this moment
To go backwards or forwards, it doesn’t matter!
Anywhere but under the heavy shadow

What is it that we ought to learn
From experiencing joy and sadness
Mingled in such an excruciating way?

One generation dies as another is born
New families begin as others yearn for growth
And even the best of us cannot escape our sorrow

So we find bitter myrrh mingled in our cup
The joy of goodness and life, tainted by
The pain of brokenness and death

One thing only remains
Whether we build in joy or sorrow today
The same master builder is making it all new
And he is not afraid of the Valley

Psalm 22

© 2019 Jacqueline Tisthammer. All Rights Reserved.

6 thoughts on “Grief in the Season of Joy

  1. Thank you for sharing, Jackie. Sometimes with all the holiday cheer, feeling grief can be isolating. It’s a good, good reminder that God sees us and is with us—and that others around us may be going through their own journeys of grief as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jackie,

    Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing your loss and faith during this time of grief. I ache with you and also feel grounded in God’s faithfulness as I read your poems.

    Blessings and continued comfort to you!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s