How do I cope when a loved one dies very young?


by Shari Abbott, Reasons for Hope

Loss of someone we love is never easy, regardless of their age.  Their absence in our lives breaks the heart and steals our joy.  Always allow time for grieving, understanding that we were created by God to feel emotional pain and that grieving is natural process of coping with loss. God gave us the ability to love, and in the loss of loved ones He has given us the ability to grieve.  And we can trust that He is with us in our grief.

As stated, we grieve at the death of friends and family of all ages.  We even grieve when we hear of the death of people we don’t know, perhaps public figures we admire or deaths from violence or catastrophe.  But in your question, you are asking about a very specific loss, that of someone young — perhaps a child or a young adult.

Christians should remember that God did not create us to suffer in this way.  He created Adam and Eve perfect, and it was only because of their disobedience that sin entered the world and the physical body became subject to death.  They were banished from the Garden of Eden where they had been given the Tree of Life.  Therefore, no longer would their bodies be eternal.  Of course we also know that along with the beginning of the process of death for their bodies, came a spiritual death.  But God in His mercy provided a way for man to be restored both spiritually and physically.

So as Christians we have great hope when a loved one who belongs to the Lord dies. They have been spiritually reborn and will have eternal life with Christ.  If we have lost someone whom we believe was not saved, we can still hope that before they took their last breath they trusted in Christ.  Remember it is Christ Who saves.  So even if we did not hear a public profession of faith, there is always hope that the person might have called out to Christ before death.  Now that may not give us the comfort we desire, but it does give hope.  Remember there is always hope in Christ’s mercy and grace.


How to Cope When a Loved One Dies Very Young

 Back to the question of dealing with the loss of a young person.  It might be easier to accept the loss of the elderly because in our understanding they have lived a more complete and full life.  We fully acknowledge that losing someone at a young age is often more difficult.  But coping with the death of anyone we love, under any circumstances, should always be the same for Christians.  We must remember to do exactly what God commands us to do…trust in Christ.  He commands this because He loves us.  We are to trust that He is the Sovereign God over everything and in His purpose and plan He is working all things our for our good and to His glory (Romans 8:28).  Believe that even in our losses are His blessings and His will for us in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18) — and remember and believe that one day we will understand.  

Allow yourself time to grieve.  Let the heart break and the tears flow, but in doing so seek the Lord and He will give you His peace (John 14:27) and comfort (John 14:16-18).  It might not seem enough at first, but trust in Christ’s promises, and as you move forward you will feel the pain of loss less and feel His presence more.

I  have personally experienced the loss of loved ones who were very young at death.

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