Permission to Weep {God’s Still Teaching Me Through My Dad’s Death}

It’s January 10…a day forever stuck in my heart.

Do you have a day or days like this?  A date that changed your life forever? 

 One that gives you permission to weep?

As moms, friends, wives, sisters, and daughters, we don’t feel we can burst into tears at any moment.  We have children to raise, jobs to work, laundry to do, meals to make.  We can’t sit around with tears dripping in our tea.

Still, feeling isn’t optional.  We FEEL plenty.

We take deep breaths, put on big smiles, and plow through the mess.

This isn’t being “fake”; this isn’t just a stiff upper lip.  This is being functional in the midst of sad and suffering.  And, most of us have a real reason for sadness.

Yet, we hold it at bay – we must.

Then, a day comes.  A day like January 10 -the day my dad took his last breath on this earth.  And we give ourselves permission to weep, to mourn, to grieve.  Those accumulated feelings flood forth.

My dad with his sisters and mom

My dad with his sisters and mom

Tears for my dad and for my family.  Tears for what I thought would be that isn’t.  Tears for failures and tears of anger.

THIS is NOT what life at 38 was supposed to look like.  I thought my mom and dad would grow old together.  I thought I’d grow old with my husband. 

Intact families, living and laughing. 

 Not happening.

And I can question a sovereign God all day long about those busted expectations, and He remains silent.

Or, does he? 

He’s certainly silent about the “why” life is as it is.  But, as I opened my daily reading plan to Philippians this morning, he reminded me that he’s not silent about the “what”  and “how.”   His word clearly tells me how to move from woe is me and this sucks to I am thankful for the years I had with my dad.  And I am thankful for my marriage…

Thankful for January 10. 

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-8

My joy today comes from Him alone.  I’ve told God what I need – in a yelling, frustrated fashion, but he knows.  And, I am thanking Him for being sovereign.  For seeing all the pieces that I can’t. 

I’ll have to keep putting all this into practice – focused thoughts, intentional prayer, and thankful heart – because I am prone to wonder.  I want my way and submitting to his way takes effort. 

Something I learned from my dad…stubbornness:)

Today, I honor my heavenly Father for his grace, his daily gentle reminders to lean into Him. 

I honor my earthly Dad for who was, what he taught me, who he molded me to be.  For every day he worked and every moment he played, I am thankful.  He was an amazing man who loved many well. 

Until we meet again, Dad, I love you.



My mom and dad

My mom and dad


My dad in 1956

My dad in 1956

 I’ve written much about my dad.  You can read more about him here… 

Celebrating (and Missing) My Dad with Hope (January 10, 2013)

Honoring My Dad and Glorifying My Father (January 10, 2012)

My Dad’s Birthday (October 4, 2013)         

Happy Birthday, Dad! (October 4, 2012)


  1. Michelle Wilson says:

    Your Daddy would be very proud of his little girl… are a Christian light to others in bearing your soul.

  2. Valerie Schubert says:

    Losing my Daddy this past year in October was devastating and yet God in His incredible tenderness has showed me so much of Himself through the grieving. I pray He continues to uphold and cradle your heart as you draw near Him in trust and brokenness. Love ya much, Valerie in Honduras

  3. Sarah – thanks for sharing the reality of grief. My dad breathed his last breath last May 27th. There was so much stress involved in his terminal illness. It was hard to admit that I was relieved He was gone. But that is reality. I was tired and angry and so hurt. But now, over six months later, I’ve started to miss him. I’m thankful that God understands the big picture and knows all of my needs and sadness. I’m just learning to express emotions. Thanks for echoing God’s voice in giving me permission to weep and grieve. Bless you for being His gospel light.

    • So sorry to hear about your dad, Jennifer! You have permission to weep and grieve – and kick and scream and yell too! He understands. Praying for you!

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