\ Moving forward after loss | Dorina Lazo Gilmore

Moving forward after loss

Six boxes. Our family just moved to a new house this past weekend and all that’s left at our previous house is six dusty, tattered boxes of my late husband’s treasures. I donated at least a dozen boxes of books and a random smattering of home décor from my other life. I feel like I have made steady progress over these last few months. Yet I’m still paralyzed by these final boxes.

My fingers linger over his favorite sweatshirts, t-shirts, and his high school letterman jacket. I keep wondering if these are precious or pointless. Will my daughters need a hug from their daddy in the future? Will they wrap themselves in his jacket on prom night and feel him close? These are the decisions that leave me heavy and decision-fatigued. My mind swirls with a thousand questions and angles to look at each piece.

Another box is full of letters and cards given to me at his funeral. These are handwritten stories that form the tapestry of his legacy. A student who still remembers the way he made her laugh in math class. An athlete who made a choice to become a coach because of the way my husband poured into him when he was a troubled teen. A colleague who met my husband a few mornings a week to pray for students and their families.

September 9 is my husband’s four-year heaveniversary, and I can hardly believe the work God has done in my family and heart these past four years. We have learned to move forward. There were days when I never believed I could live without him. The grief was so heavy I felt like I was walking around carrying a backpack of heavy boulders. I couldn’t imagine a new life for my three daughters and me.

Then God came in gently and said,

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)

{Head over to www.incourage.me for the rest of this article on “Moving forward.” Please leave a comment about your own experiences with moving.}

About Dorina Gilmore

I grew up on the South Side of Chicago and then was transplanted to Central California after college. I'm officially a California girl now. My husband died of melanoma cancer in 2014, but in God's wild grace He brought my new husband Shawn to redeem our family. I have three daughters. When I'm not writing or speaking, I'm trail running, knitting or chasing sunsets at the ocean. My passion is helping people navigate grief and discover God's glory in the process.


  • Rebecca Patel says:

    At a Bible study tonight two women began to unveil a “goliath” in their lives. Ones husband died a few years back and the other one went through a divorce. The three years or so after their loss, they felt close to the Lord, felt strong, had peace, etc. Then suddenly they hit a wall, and the peace left them. They were not where they were and found it hard to connect and fellowship with God. What happened? Since I haven’t experienced that kind of loss, I couldn’t console or explain. What should they do to get that peace they lost? They love the Lord, but all of a sudden felt confused and overwhelmed, maybe even abandoned. Did you experience this after your loss? I’d love to offer them something to help explain why they experienced this. Can you help? Blessings, Becki

    • Everyone’s grief journey is unique. Sometimes people do not allow themselves to grieve the loss at first and those feelings creep up later. I believe God can handle our questions, our anger, our grief – all of it. Encourage your friends to press into those emotions. Grief doesn’t go away. We don’t get over it. We have to continually bring it to God.

      • Rebecca Patel says:

        Thank you for your reply. I will share it with them and incourage them to sign up for your glory grams. Your writings have been a blessing to me.

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