Friday, August 19, 2022

The Second Round of Grief

For with much wisdom is much sorrow; as knowledge increases, grief increases.
Ecclesiastes 1:18 HCSB

The second round of grief is headed my way soon.
Some of my wise friends who have endured seasons of grief have posted, "The second year is harder than the first."
I am seeing how this is true because you're reliving the first rounds of denial, anger, bargaining, and sadness you didn't see coming the first time.
In my training as a Stephen Minister, we talk about how hard anniversaries can be for those who are grieving.

The holidays, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and many memories are now bittersweet.
Yes, the first ones have been hard for me this year after my painful divorce. The first Valentine's Day and Easter were just plain awful in certain ways.
Now I'm seeing that this October will start the process all over again, because it's the month when everything began going downhill (though I couldn't see it at that time last year). The behind-the-scenes deceit that hurt me and my children so deeply started that month.
Then the most painful remembrances are coming the second time around in the new year, when the pain of the original trauma will be fresh again for a few months.

As knowledge about what really happened increases, grief wells up again. However, the hope lies here: God's grace increases too.

If you are grieving, you know that the grief comes in waves. Just today, a wave of grief passed over me. I had to let it flow out in a few minutes of tears, then it was over.
After today's grief wave, I paused to thank God. The grief I have now is not as overwhelming and all-encompassing as when the trauma was brand new. I'm stronger because his grace has proven to be sufficient for me as his power is perfected in my weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).

The difference between the second round of grief and the first is that I have the advantage of seeing it coming. This is a blessing I'm not taking for granted. I can be prepared for those anniversary days that will be hard, and grant myself extra grace to grieve as much as I need to do.
One thing I'm doing on this second round of grief is inviting Jesus into each moment with me. I envision him standing beside me back in that first round, when grief suddenly crashed into me like tsunami waves. He was right there, holding me when I felt his presence and especially when I didn't feel his arms around me.
The second time around, Jesus and I will be standing there together, watching the original scene. I'll see him standing there with me the first time, and feel him standing beside me the second time too. He'll embrace me as the grief wells up, and as it ebbs away.
Though my knowledge of the situation the second time around increases my grief for a moment, he will be offering grace in heavenly abundance to me.

What is the second round of grief, and how does it affect us?

If you are in a season of grieving, I hope this devotion prepares you for the second round. Not only for the additional knowledge and sorrow you will experience, but for the abundant grace and comfort Jesus will most certainly offer you. I pray that you know he is standing beside you right now, ready to embrace you as you accept his offer. 
I hope you will realize Jesus was there with you the first time around and will be there with you the second time around too, ready to comfort and soothe you as grief wells up and ebbs away once more.

Blessings and God's peace to you,

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Need additional help processing your grief? Don't suffer alone - Reach out for help HERE like I did years ago. 

Reflection questions:

1. When have you experienced a season of grief? How did it impact your faith?
2. How might this devotion about a second round of grief prepare you for what's ahead?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


  1. Beautiful thoughts on preparing us for a second round of grief. I have experienced this with the Anniversary of my mother's passing. So I prepare by praying and loving her and realize I will be tender that day.

    1. Wonderful testimony - thank you for sharing, friend.

  2. I've experienced this, too, with the death of my mom and the onset of a traumatic illness. Those anniversary dates are hard, but God's grace helps us through.

  3. I'm so sorry you have to go through this. Hugs and prayers!


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