An Open Letter To My Father-in-Law

Dear Fred,

I am so sorry for your loss. We love you and we are here for you for whatever you need. It’s been on my heart to share a few things with you during this time. Please use them as gentle reminders from my heart.

Be kind to yourself. Grieving is a process. There is no beginning, middle, or end. Some days your grief will feel like a ten and some days it will feel like a two; and that’s okay. Some days you may not cry at all and some days you will cry harder than you’ve ever cried before; and that’s okay. When the negative thoughts pop into your head, acknowledge them, tell them to “get lost”, and then immediately replace those thoughts with positive thoughts and prayers.

Strength. You do not have to be strong right now. You DO NOT have to be strong right now. Find your strength in God and in His word. Remember that when others tell you to “be strong” translate that into be strong in the Lord. Live for Him. Live for you. Live for your children. Live for your grandchildren. Live for your family. We love you.

Pray. Pray, pray, pray. In everything you do pray. When you rise pray. When you hurt pray. When you rejoice pray. When you miss Gloria pray. When you lay pray. When you cry pray. When you feel like you just can’t go on PRAY!

Take care of you. Eat well. Sleep well. Walk. Dance. Rest. Write. Read. Work. Reach out for help. Call family. Call friends. Visit family. Visit friends. Spend time outside in nature. Find beauty in the life around you. Most importantly write a list of all the things you want to do in the home (projects, cleaning, rearranging, etc) and a list of all the things you want to do outside your home (travel, golf, sporting events, etc). Lastly, sometimes we just have to remember to breathe. Breathe in deep and let it out slowly. Close your eyes and do it again; breathe in deep and let it out slowly. Just breathe.

We don’t know why. We don’t know why Gloria was called home now. But we do know that Gloria is healed. Gloria has been made whole again. She’s singing with the angels. We do know that God is sovereign. He makes no mistakes. He will comfort you in your time of need. He knows your pain and your sorrow. We do not know His will, but we do know that He is faithful. And remember that He will not put more on you than you can bear.

Thank you. Thank you for loving my mother-in-law the way you did; for loving her the way you do. You kept your commitment to her and to God. Your commitment has blessed our family. Gloria LOVED you. Whenever she spoke about you her face would light up like a school girl with a crush. She loved sharing about all that you are and all that you’ve done. She loved pointing out all the things in your home that you did with your hard work and creativity. Thank you for making her so happy. Thank you for keeping her smiling. Thank you for taking such good care of her. Thank you for being her beloved husband.

I love you Fred. Thank you for being a wonderful father-in-law.

Love always,

Melissa Dumas
Philippians 4:13