This past summer during the preteen camp I run for our children’s ministry, several people said some funny things which became quotes to remember. “Fear the bonnet,” “Who stole the milk jug?” and “I got bit by a goat and went to unicorn land” were among the best ones. As we walk through grief and loss, there are certain phrases that are brought up time and again as people quote what they think we need to hear.

“I know how you feel” and “They’re so much better off now” are among the quotes that really are not helpful to hear as you journey through sadness and heartache. Hearing them can hurt and remind you once again of your loss and the sadness that overtake you at times. Even though these statements may be true, they are hard to hear early into your journey.

However, there are some quotes that can help as you move forward and begin to heal. Reciting, memorizing, and quoting scripture can be incredibly empowering and healing. Claiming promises from God gives hope not only for you today but also for your future.

Healthy self-talk is vital for healing and forward movement in your grief journey as well. Telling yourself that you can survive the pain that aches down deep inside injects hope into each hour you face. It is these quotes that help you believe in your head that you will eventually be okay even when all your heart knows now is darkness.

Yesterday I heard someone say, “I don’t want to hear I can’t.” While she was talking to children at the time, this is a good lesson for everyone. Instead of handing your life over to defeat, quote positive things instead. Some examples of helpful quotes to tell yourself might be: “I can certainly do this.” “If he can do it, then I can do it.” “I still believe there is a purpose in my life.”

These quotes point to better things just around the corner. Do not settle for the sadness that invades your life now. Push ahead and keep looking for the good in each day. Sometimes that is hard to find and the only positive statement you come up with is, “The sun came up today” or “I didn’t fall down and skin my knee this afternoon.” Keep trying and before you know it, you will find your special quote that will stick with you and be the boost you need for your tough days.

Until then, borrow one from someone else. One of my favorite quotes from scriptures is the promise that no matter how bad things seem, nothing can defeat you when you look to God for your strength.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38, 39 (NIV)

Until next time –


With the holidays approaching, Grief Letters makes the perfect gift for those walking through loss and sadness. This devotion book is filled with lessons learned from my own journey as well as suggested activities written to help achieve forward progress through grief. Place your order today!


Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667

E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650

Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Positive Outlook


Social media can be a good help in some ways. Keeping up with friends is fun. It is possible to achieve positive growth by gaining knowledge in reading about current events, or finding new recipes. I even learned how to fix my garbage disposal from a post several years ago. Laughing at new jokes and funny cartoons can lead to some levity in our busy lives. Some people choose to use social media to encourage others and try to bring cheer and a positive outlook on life to those in their social circles.

I read a post the other day that I am sure was written with good intentions. It went something like this – “We should all look at the positive side of life and stop being so negative.” While I may agree with the sentiment behind this statement, I believe when people are going through rough times – such as journeying through grief – staying positive is not a simple task. Here are a few tips to help you achieve a more positive outlook on life in the midst of mourning.

As you work your way through sad days, realize that you are not in a hopeless situation. There are things you can do to bring a positive view into a negative looking world. One of those is to give you permission to cry. Allowing the tears can relieve stress, pain and sorrow. The river of water coursing down your cheeks is similar to the concept of releasing pressure from an over-filled balloon. It is less damaging to you and those nearby when you intentionally let go in a positive, constructive way rather than finally coming to the point where you explode with anger and hurt.

Remind yourself that life will get better. You will not always hurt as intensely as you do today. I cannot promise you that the pain will go away completely. However, I do know from the experience of my last four years that it will lessen and seem more manageable in time.

You are not on this journey alone. First and foremost, God is with you. He wants to be your strength and sufficiency during this very difficult time of life. Allow Him to be that for you. Pray and tell God about your hurts, fears, hopes and dreams. He can handle anything you place upon Him.

As we journey through grief, it is helpful to also seek the support of others walking a similar path. I have found new friends and inspiration through attending a Grief Share group. Finding hope and encouragement reminds me there is still a purpose to my life.

A big part of maintaining a positive outlook on this difficult journey is to just keep working each day to move onward. Do not give up. Even in your most difficult moments, there is always hope for tomorrow. Place one foot in front of the other, my friend. Your positive outlook will move you forward as you do the hard work of grief today.

Until next time –