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How to Cope with Tragedy and Loss: 5 Stages of Grief

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Have you or someone you know suffered the loss of a grandchild? Today I’m honoring a birthday in Heaven by sharing resources to help others through our loss of a child. A grandchild’s birthday in Heaven is bittersweet and brings both joy and sadness at the time.

I want to wish my beautiful baby grandson a very Happy Birthday in Heaven! Tyler’s birthday is January 16 so he will be celebrating his birthday with my Heavenly Father.

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I’ve been researching words of comfort, quotes on the loss of a child, the different stages of grief, and how grieving is a process in order to honor both Tyler’s birthday and help you all in one post.

In all honesty, no one should ever have to go through the loss of a grandchild. When your grandchild has their birthday in Heaven it’s bittersweet.

It is a pain that is so indescribable and heartbreaking and if you have lost a child I’m truly sorry because I’ve been there. First and foremost, I want to share with you my personal loss of a grandchild and let you know how you can find hope.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4


an older woman wearing green shirt with a sad expression on her face with text How to Overcome Tragedy and Loss: 5 Stages of Grief

How can you cope with the Loss of a grandChild?

Have you found yourself looking forward to a particular day but dreading it all at the same time? January 16 brings numerous happy memories for me and my family but it also has devastating ones as well.

I never in a million years thought I would be writing about the loss of a grandchild, let alone go through this.

When Tyler entered into our lives it brought us much exuberant joy! I never knew it was possible to love someone so much until his small precious little body was within my reach. Let’s just say I was smitten!

The photo displayed below is when I first held Tyler in my arms. Can you see the look of pure contentment on my face? It’s quite hard to miss, isn’t it?

It’s ok if you wanna poke fun at my “BIG HAIR” I know it was bad but I was much younger and didn’t know any better. Lol!

If you are a grandmother you know firsthand the feeling you have within your heart when you have a grandchild don’t you?



It’s extremely difficult trying to explain that to those who do not have a grandchild yet, isn’t it? Let’s just say they have you wrapped around their tiny little fingers and stubby toes. If you have a sense of what that may feel like imagine it being taken away as quickly as it was given.

The loss of a grandchild would be an unthinkable scenario, right?

When a child is born we assume we’re gonna have all the time in the world with them, don’t we? No one would dare think about losing their grandchild, would they? That’s just not supposed to happen.

Our human way of perceiving life is seeing our children live long and healthy lives NOT our children leaving this world behind and you and I left to grieve their loss. I know death is a natural part of life but it’s still hard especially when its a baby or small child.

How losing a grandchild is devastating

We lost Tyler to SIDS when he was only 4 1/2 months old. The loss of a child or grandchild is something I wouldn’t want anyone to live through. I know firsthand what that feels like and how it has affected my family.

When it’s a baby, you’re not the only one grieving the loss. The grief is multiplied because you’re also grieving for the Mother, Father, and siblings. Yet God’s word state the following verse.

A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted. Ecclesiastes 3:2

Coping with Grief

When it’s a grandchild, you’re not the only one grieving the loss. Grief is multiplied because you’re also grieving for the Mama, the Father, and the siblings. When a baby passes away it makes you feel helpless.

You want to take your child’s pain away but they have to go through it the same as you do. So many shattered broken hearts. When a child or grandchild dies, it’s not just the loss of the life you grieve, but all the hopes and dreams you looked forward to sharing with them. Such as…

Questions on the loss of a grandChild: My Tyler’s Loss

  • Would he know much he’s cherished?
  • What would he look like today?
  • What kind of personality would he have?
  • Would he play sports?
  • Would he be interested in music?
  • Would he protect his little brother?
  • Would Gavin look to him as a role model?
  • Would he be close to his little brother?
  • Would he play electronics and games like his little brother?
  • What would he grow up to be?
  • Would he be impacting lives today?
  • Would he know how much I love and miss him?

We have Eternal Hope in Christ to be reunited

However, during Tyler’s passing, all I felt at this particular time was the loss of a grandchild. NOT the eternal hope of being reunited in Heaven with him!

I did NOT put my hope and faith in Jesus Christ because during this time in my life I was separated from God and seen no hope.

Friends, without HOPE we will remain lost and NOT be found! Without HOPE all we will see is darkness and despair. I hear the following statement all the time.

A parent should never have to bury their child, but the same is also true for grandparents. Click To Tweet

Refuse to listen to Satans deception and Taunting

Battle of the Mind from Satan

  • Do you NOT remember how it felt when YOUR God took Tyler?
  • Do you NOT know YOUR GOD could’ve stopped it, YOUR God wanted YOU to hurt.
  • YOUR God was punishing YOU for walking away from him.
  • God is NOT good for taking your grandson!

Truth from God’s word

God says…

  • I am Forgiven
  • I am Loved
  • I am Redeemed
  • I am HIS Beloved Child!

When we come boldly before the throne of Grace and bow humbly on bended knees before the Almighty God and repent of our sins God graciously forgives us and remembers our sins no more.

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. Hebrews 8:12

I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins. Isaiah 43:25

If you are like me in weak moments such as the loss of a grandchild when the floodgates of memories open up like a rushing tidal wave we need to hold fast to the very Promises of God and his word.

We must put Satan in his place and stomp him into the ground back to Hell where he belongs.

Put on the Full Armor of God and be ready to battle. The past failures that bombard our thoughts are what Satan will use against us again and again because it’s ALL he’s got to use to get our hearts and minds off Jesus.

I know today will NOT be an easy day and where I was once Shattered in Tyler’s loss…I now lean into the Lord where I find ALL my hope and strength!

In Christ we have hope


Words of Comfort for Loss of a grandChild

Children are a blessing and gift that are meant to be treasured NO MATTER how long we have them in our presence!

I definitely treasure Tyler then and will forevermore! Children’s tenderhearted spirits are filled with innocence, joy, and laughter.

Losing a child is one of the most tragic things that could happen to anyone. A parent having their son or daughter taken from them will likely be the most painful experience that could possibly be imagined.

The grief will be long-lasting and change the lives of the family involved forever. Keep in mind it takes placing your faith and trust in God to sustain you through the loss.

Why Grieving is a Process

How do you talk about something so challenging and difficult? In my case, it was my first grandchild. How can others understand the loss endured unless they’ve endured it themselves?

In all honesty sweet friend, loss of a grandchild/child will show you how truly fragile life can be. Please remember grieving is a process, and everyone processes death differently and it’s not one size fits all. Be patient with your loved ones in this difficult time.

The Grieving Process: Coping with Grief


What are the Five Stages of Grief?


First Stage of Grief: Denial

Denial is the first of the five stages of grief. It helps us to survive the loss. In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial.

We go numb. We wonder how we can go on if we can go on, why we should go on. We try to find a way to simply get through each day. Denial and shock help us to cope and make survival possible.

Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle.

As you accept the reality of the loss and start to ask yourself questions, you are unknowingly beginning the healing process. You are becoming stronger, and the denial is beginning to fade. But as you proceed, all the feelings you were denying begin to surface.

Second Stage of Grief: Anger

Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal.

There are many other emotions under the anger and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing. The truth is that anger has no limits.

It can extend not only to your friends, the doctors, your family, yourself and your loved one who died but also to God. You may ask, “Where is God in this? Underneath anger is pain, your pain.

It is natural to feel deserted and abandoned, but we live in a society that fears anger. Anger is strength and it can be an anchor, giving temporary structure to the nothingness of loss.

At first, grief feels like being lost at sea: no connection to anything. Then you get angry at someone, maybe a person who didn’t attend the funeral, maybe a person who isn’t around, maybe a person who is different now that your loved one has died.

Suddenly you have a structure of your anger toward them. The anger becomes a bridge over the open sea, a connection from you to them.

It is something to hold onto, and a connection made from the strength of anger feels better than nothing.

We usually know more about suppressing anger than feeling it. The anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love.

Third Stage of Grief: Bargaining

Before a loss, it seems like you will do anything if only your loved one would be spared. “Please God, ” you bargain, “I will never be angry at my wife again if you’ll just let her live.”

After a loss, bargaining may take the form of a temporary truce. “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others.

Then can I wake up and realize this has all been a bad dream?” We become lost in a maze of “If only…” or “What if…” statements.

We want life returned to what it was; we want our loved ones restored.

We want to go back in time: find the tumor sooner, recognize the illness more quickly, stop the accident from happening…if only, if only, if only.

Guilt is often bargaining’s companion. The “if only’s” cause us to find fault in ourselves and what we “think” we could have done differently.

We may even bargain with the pain. We will do anything not to feel the pain of this loss. We remain in the past, trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt.

People often think of the stages as lasting weeks or months. They forget that the stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another.

We do not enter and leave each individual stage in a linear fashion. We may feel one, then another, and back again to the first one.

Fourth Stage of Grief: Depression

After bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though it will last forever.

It’s important to understand that this depression is not a sign of mental illness. It is the appropriate response to a great loss. We withdraw from life, left in a fog of intense sadness, wondering, perhaps, if there is any point in going on alone?

Why go on at all? Depression after a loss is too often seen as unnatural: a state to be fixed, something to snap out of.

The first question to ask yourself is whether or not the situation you’re in is actually depressing.

The loss of a loved one is a very depressing situation, and depression is a normal and appropriate response.

To not experience depression after a loved one dies would be unusual.

When a loss fully settles in your soul, the realization that your loved one didn’t get better this time and is not coming back is understandably depressing.

If grief is a process of healing, then depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way.

Fifth Stage of Grief: Acceptance

Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK or all right about the loss of a loved one.

This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually, we accept it.

We learn to live with it. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live. We must try to live now in a world where our loved one is missing.

In resisting this new norm, at first many people want to maintain life as it was before a loved one died. In time, through bits and pieces of acceptance, however, we see that we cannot maintain the past intact.

It has been forever changed and we must readjust. We must learn to reorganize roles, re-assign them to others or take them on ourselves.

Finding acceptance may be just having more good days than bad ones.

As we begin to live again and enjoy our life, we often feel that in doing so, we are betraying our loved one.

We can never replace what has been lost, but we can make new connections, new meaningful relationships, new inter-dependencies.

Instead of denying our feelings, we listen to our needs; we move, we change, we grow, we evolve. We may start to reach out to others and become involved in their lives.

We invest in our friendships and in our relationship with ourselves. We begin to live again, but we cannot do so until we have given grief its time.

13 Quotes on Loss of a grandChild or child

“The weird, weird thing about devastating loss is that life actually goes on. When you’re faced with a tragedy, a loss so huge that you have no idea how you can live through it, somehow, the world keeps turning, the seconds keep ticking.”

James Patterson

“We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world — the company of those who have known suffering.”

—Helen Keller

“It is the capacity to feel consuming grief and pain and despair that also allows me to embrace love and joy and beauty with my whole heart. I must let it all in.”

Anna White

“Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality.”

—Emily Dickinson

“I love you every day. And now I will miss you every day.”

― Mitch Albom

“Grief is the price we pay for love.”

—Queen Elizabeth II

“While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till it is digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.”

―Samuel Johnson

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”

—Washington Irving

“You were unsure which pain is worse — the shock of what happened or the ache for what never will.”


“Grief is the last act of love we have to give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love.”


“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” 

— C.S.Lewis

“This is what I like about photographs. They’re proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect.” 

— Jodi Picoult

“What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human.” 

— Brene Brown

I will remember Tyler’s award-winning smile and infectious laughter as long as I have breath in my lungs!

My walk with Jesus Christ is more grounded than ever, even thru the loss of my grandchild! Sweet friend, you hang onto your memories as well.

Not today Satan: Happy Birthday in Heaven

I choose today to honor Tyler with HAPPY memories, I choose not to linger on the loss of his life because, in ALL honesty, he’s more alive than I EVER will be this side of eternity.

Gavin is our Second Grandson and Tyler’s Brother. Gavin is such a tender-hearted sweet soul and I couldn’t be more grateful to God for him!

Satan I refuse to let you tarnish the memory of my baby boy!! NOT TODAY…or no other because a beautiful soul is never forgotten!

God PLEASE give my little one a tight squeeze and kiss on the cheek since I can NOT do it myself…for now. 

Be sure to also Read:

If you are grieving the loss of a child check out my friend’s posts for encouraging truths.

much love, your sister in Christ, Angie

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  1. Wow.. I cannot imagine! As you said, no one should suffer the loss of a child or grandchild. Thank you for sharing this very personal experience through the 5 stages of grief and celebrating Tyler’s sweet short life on his birthday. It’s so encouraging to hear that God helped you move forward and find hope.

    1. Thank you so much Christina. I wouldn’t wish this kind of loss to anyone and some days Tyler’s loss is hard but I hang onto the hope I will see him again one day very soon. Thanks for reading Tyler’s story and giving me your feedback. I appreciate it very much!

  2. Such a beautiful tribute to Tyler. I can’t imagine the pain as I have never lost a child or grandchild and pray I never do. I did lose my husband suddenly and understand the profound shock. Grief is the worst pain I have ever endured but, as you said, God was faithful through all of it and – Not today satan – is a great statement! Love you.

    1. Thanks, Fleda. It’s a loss and heartbreak that I wouldn’t want anyone to go through. It’s a long road to healing that’s for sure. I Love You too and appreciate your feedback as always.

    1. Thanks, Wendy. Tyler’s birthday brings back many happy memories but it also brings sadness that he’s no longer here with us. I look forward to seeing him again one day soon. Happy Birthday indeed.

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