New Year, Same Fear: The Fear of Losing a Loved One

Death is not an easy subject to tackle. It comes in many different shapes and forms depending on the person or scenario. Death is hard, despairing, and it hurts. The personal reality and aftermath behind grief is a part of death that does not get discussed much. But it’s such an important aspect of this life on earth. Sometimes death comes with expectation, and other times it comes suddenly. Either way, the sense of loss and the grief that comes after is not a linear process. When grief hits suddenly, it is difficult to grasp reality and continue walking forward.

This became real to me when my 21-year-old cousin suddenly and unexpectedly passed away in August of 2022. With that came a hefty amount of pain, confusion, and questioning God. In my questioning, I doubted God’s plans. I could not understand why He would take away someone so young and faithful to Him. I doubted my faith and wondered if I should still even believe in Christ. I felt so far from God, as if I was walking through the deepest darkness and could not see a single sliver of light. Grief brought a lot of unexpected emotions that were difficult to navigate through. It also brought new fears and a tendency to guard myself from people. I quickly realized I had developed a fear of losing loved ones.

Grappling with grief, I regularly had dreams of loved ones dying. I would wake up and think it was real and quickly call or text that individual to ensure they were alright. As I walked through my daily life, I wondered whether God would take someone else away — trying to figure out how I would get through without them. I ensured that I was mentally prepared for the next person I loved to die. This mindset was not healthy for me. As a worrier, it was a constant fear in my mind. In a way, I thought that if I fixated on it enough, I would be prepared to protect myself when someone else I loved died. However, no one can ever ready themselves for the pain that comes with death’s sting.

Amid my pain and sorrow, I was reminded of the truth that “God is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18; see also 2 Corinthians 1:3–4). No matter how deep the pain I felt within, I knew I could come to a Father who deeply cares and desires to bring His children peace and healing. He drew near and comforted me, despite feeling so in distress. Even in my wandering and questioning, He still sought me out and nudged me back to Him, to His word, and to have hope in His name again — having confidence that, in time, He will fully heal me from the inside out.

The second truth I clung to was that God knows the number of our days (Job 14:5). He knows our life from the first breath we take to our last. Though I don’t like not knowing the future, I put my trust in Christ. Believing that no matter how long I get to experience life on earth with my loved ones, each moment is a gift.

The third scripture God brought to mind was that “those who have placed their trust in God shall never die” (John 11:25–26). Though their earthly body leaves, their soul is in heaven with Christ. This verse and promise guide me as I grieve my cousin — knowing I will see him again in heaven. Though it hurts not having him physically here. I know he is in heaven with God, and my family and I have the promise of seeing him again. The same is true of any other loved one who has placed their trust in Christ.

Finally, I held to the verse that states, “He shall wipe every tear from their eyes. There shall be no more death, pain, or mourning” (Revelation 21:4). When we reach heaven, we will experience the presence of God and get to dwell in His perfection — what a great truth to remember! One day, when we reach eternity, we won’t experience the pains of this life on earth. How magnificent to think of those who have passed before us, that they get to experience heaven and the absence of pain, sorrow, and death.

It’s such a gift to have people in our lives to love and care for deeply. I love that the Lord gives us those to walk through life on earth alongside. The Lord created us as emotional beings to abide in community with one another (Genesis 2:18). He wants us to love people well, so He is not shocked when we fear losing those we love. God does not want us to live in fear of the future but to continually trust Him when our fears get the best of us.

Through my fear of losing a loved one, these truths give me hope each day as I know that God will continually take care of me and give me all that I need and more. The Lord leads me through this daily. He provides more than any human could. He will take care of me when I lose someone I love. He gives me comfort in those times and reminds me of these truths I have mentioned and several more. I know He will provide the same to you, reach out to Him and let His Word replenish you in your fears.

Written by: Emme Showler
Published by Woodside Bible Church,



We exist to help people belong to Christ, grow in Christ, and reach the world for Christ across Southeast Michigan and the globe.

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Woodside Bible Church

We exist to help people belong to Christ, grow in Christ, and reach the world for Christ across Southeast Michigan and the globe.