Photo by Sierra Smith.

Sophomore faces grief

Emma Eidsvoog navigates loss, the grieving process and the meaning of life.

Sierra Smith
Dec 8, 2018 · 3 min read

By Sierra Smith | Design Editor

Emma Eidsvoog pushed through the door just past Monson Dining Center, embracing the long walk back to Lissner. Her nose scrunched in anticipation of the slap of cold air she had become familiar with over the long winter. Instead she was surprised by the scent of brown grass peeking through muddy snow, the slow drip of icicles melting from the roof and the sound of the last ice being scraped off of sidewalks. The long gray winter had finally been interrupted by the sun. She closed her eyes for a moment and took it all in. She whispered to herself, “if only he had waited to see this.”

Grief is something everyone goes through. Though it is such a universal challenge, it has a way of isolating people. Making us feel so entirely alone. Emma Eidsvoog is an introverted sophomore here at Bethel University. She doesn’t mind being alone though. At home she is surrounded by 11 siblings, six biological and five adopted. She is the sixth of 11 and she was the one who helped welcome in and raise the five who were adopted from foster care. Maturity was not a choice for her, she was thrown into it. Coming to Bethel on her own was a fresh start towards freedom and independence.

But when life strikes and grief sets in, being alone can be hard. Eidsvoog didn’t tell any of her friends at school when she got the news that her uncle had killed himself. She still hasn’t told her best friend from home.

“I think it’s just harder for me to express my emotions. So for me to explain how I’m feeling to someone who didn’t know him, would just be hard,” Eidsvoog said. “You just want to be around family. People who understand, you don’t have to like, explain your pain to someone, they just get it.” Emma learned that her faith in God was something she had never seen applied so significantly in her life until this time.

“All those things feeding into me from such a young age really established my faith,” Eidsvoog explains. “He [God] became much more real to me.” She leaned heavily on God during this healing process.

Even throughout her own struggles and trying to navigate this sensitive space of life and precious time, Emma emphasized her passion for selflessness and cultivating relationships with those around her.

“She’s really willing to listen to what you have to say… she’s really good at making you feel like it really matters, you know? Like she’s not just listening for your benefit, but like she really cares about what you’re saying.” Alex Bemboom, a friend since childhood, said about Emma. Going through this has given her a way to help others through their grief and challenging circumstances as well.

“Spring is the hope after a dead winter… you can breathe again.”Eidsvoog holds onto her experiences each year as winter comes around, that there will be spring and it will hold hope for new life and joy.

Though grief is something that is hard to write about and hard to live with, it brings essential life lessons and amazing stories to be told. Stories of boldness, persistence, and healing.

“I think I try to avoid people a lot, so once I do get out of my comfort zone, I don’t know, God surprises me. He reminds me that everyone has a story, and it’s messy, and that’s kind of why I like journalism too.”


Hyperlocal news about Bethel (Minn.) University by journalism students. To contact editors, email or Tweet to @Royal_Report.

Sierra Smith

Written by


Hyperlocal news about Bethel (Minn.) University by journalism students. To contact editors, email or Tweet to @Royal_Report.

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