Stand in line


The other day I stopped by my local county building to get my car tags. Even though I arrived fifteen minutes before the office opened, a good-sized line had already formed. I stood patiently watching the people near me. One young lady was panicking and calling her mother saying she didn’t have her insurance card. They seemed to be trying to scan a picture in to her email to remedy the problem.

Other people behind me were impatiently debating as to whether they wanted to stand in line and wait for their turn. They seemed defeated with the need to stand in line behind so many people. Was the wait really going to be worthwhile? While standing in line is not always pleasant, it is necessary at times.

As small children you learn to stand in line. Make it straight, hands to yourself, be still and quiet, and follow the person in front of you. While this skill is one that you probably perfected in your school years, somehow, walking through grief and being expected to stand in line waiting to feel better seems overwhelming and unrealistic.

The thing that many people fail to understand is that the grief journey is anything but straight. The path is not one that allows you to walk and follow the person in front of you. One person’s grief is never exactly like another person’s grief. You are not afforded the ease of just seeing someone else’s path and following their exact footsteps. Loss just does not work that way. There are no clear lines and no sure map to follow.

However, you can find some direction as you journey through grief. Because your loss is unique to you, there is no need to feel that you must stand in line and wait for others to determine your path. Sure, you can gain great insight by watching others. Some people will inspire you, giving you hope and the courage to face what life has handed you as you move forward one step at a time. By watching others though, you may learn things you do not want to do as you live each day missing your loved one. Perhaps their missteps will save you some pain down the road.

As you move forward, remember that you get to choose how you grieve. You get to say when you need to stop and cry, and when you want to embrace victory and laugh out loud. Do not let the world demand that you stand in line and hold yourself back from the healing that is just ahead of you. Put one foot in front of the other and begin your walk. Your time to stand in line is finished. Now you get to move forward and be restored.

Until next time –


Grief Letters is available for you to purchase. Begin the year with hope and purpose. 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.