Lessons In Grief - The Uncommon Marriage Adventure

Lessons In Grief

CORE PRACTICE #53: Expect that life will bring some difficult times; don’t let them pull you away from your spouse.

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:37-39


The sorrow and pain Tony and I experienced that December night was indescribable. I would never want anyone else to have to go through it—there is simply no way to understand the sense of loss that comes crashing down in a moment like that.

That’s what happened when we received a phone call in the middle of the night three days before Christmas 2005. When the phone rang, I handed it to Tony because any late-night phone calls we received were usually related to the Colts. This one wasn’t. Instead, the caller on the other end of the line was a Tampa policeman who told us the devastating news that our second-oldest child, Jamie, had taken his life.

Shock led to disbelief, and then to deep-seated sorrow. How could this be? It simply made no sense. Jamie was a tender-hearted, compassionate young man who was always making friends, especially with those who needed a friend. It was an unexpected moment of darkness for us.

The outpouring of love and support for us that we soon received, however, was real and overwhelming. During those first few days, Tony and I held tightly to each other as never before. And, looking back, I know that making prayer and regular communication between us such an important part of our marriage before then enabled us to navigate the deep waters of grief. But even though we knew Jamie’s faith assured his place in heaven, our journey wasn’t easy.

We learned that we grieved differently and that grief doesn’t operate on a timetable or a schedule. Some days Tony would be having a good day and I wasn’t. That might be reversed the next day. Yet no matter how we were feeling, we continued to cling to our faith in God and our unwavering belief that not only was He there, but that as we wept, He wept with us.

We never felt separated from each other, and even more important, we never felt separated from the Lord. In the inspirational Scripture above, the apostle Paul makes it abundantly clear to us all—no matter what we go through, no matter what happens to us or around us, no matter what happens to those we love and those who love us, nothing will ever be able to separate us—or them—from the love of God found in Christ Jesus our Lord. That is clear through what Christ did for all of us on the cross—which forever connects us with Him and provides us with eternal access to the God of all creation.

And His word to us always: Love each other. Cling to Him. In good times and not-so-good times. Forever and ever.

Adventure Application: We hope you’re not facing anything now that is causing you sorrow or pain. The reality of life is that eventually we all will face a heartbreaking experience that brings us to a point of despair. Be ready, cling to Him, and hold fast to each other. Stay close and remember how much He loves you and all of His children.

From the Book:

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The Uncommon Marriage Adventure
By Tony Dungy and Lauren Dungy with Nathan Whitaker

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