About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Mary,
    Beautiful tribute to our country and to the lives lost that we all grieve together. We all grieve our individual pain differently, and, as you said, that’s okay. Thank you for a comforting reminder that God does not judge us on how we grieve. Instead, He opens His arms of comfort to us in all our grieving moments. He intimately shares and feels our pain with us. Remembering, today, the lives that were lost and thinking also of my beloved dad.

  2. My dad passed away this day two years after the terrorist attacks so this day is a double whammy although the grieving gets easier we never forget those lost and the memories shared together as a family or nation.

    • I thank about all those who were in the towers that day. Some survived like my brother Randy and others did not. I know that God took them up with him beyond the clouds to an amazing beautiful place called heaven.That is where those of you who lost a love one will unite at the pearly gates.

  3. Grieving a whole mess of life this morning-it’s loud and lonely and I thank you for the reminder that my broken heart is seen.

  4. Is there really a wrong way to grieve? It’s an individual process. At the same time, we really need others to walk through the process with us. I think there are times when we need professional help, but that doesn’t mean we are grieving “wrong.” We are never alone. He truly does walk with the brokenhearted.

  5. Well written! Thank you for your gentleness and love. We lost our sweet 13 yr. old daughter back in March. She was disabled but very able in Christ! She blessed so many lights, shinning for Jesus. Although she could not walk, talk etc. her smile and spirit lit up a room. Our family is still grieving and I am good with it. It takes time but we will never forget and God is close to the brokenhearted! Praise and glory to Christ, the healer and lover of our souls!

  6. I describe grief as coming in waves like the ocean–you never know the depth or the severity—but they roll over you–sometimes expected other times not–it takes a long time for the ocean to finally come in only sweet soft waves-etched in sunshine–but finally you are left with just that- those cherished soft rolling memories-rolling in with the tide and covering you with warmth.

  7. Beautiful!

    Thanks for reminding us about grief and how it is different for all of us….. I know so many that are grieving right now. It is a comfort for sure to know that HE grieves with us and is close to the brokenhearted.

  8. Thank you for this email. I still remember where I was on Sept. 11. I still brings tears to my eyes. I also lost my father this year on Aug 30. I needed this to remind me that we, all, grieve different. God always sends what you need to lift you up.

  9. Very well said… with love, strength, gentleness, and permission. Permission to grieve in our own unique ways the enormous variety of things that break and weigh on every one of our hearts. I’m so grateful that God is “near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” May Jesus come for all of heart as we lean into him for comfort and peace. Thank you for your words…

  10. Thank you for the reminder that, however we each grieve, it is right for our own personal process/journey…………and that our way, can accidentally rub someone else a tad the wrong way when it’s not matching how they handle things.

    In the midst of our own grief, may He make it possible for us to be aware of and make room for others and theirs. Incredibly hard when in the midst of a grief shared, yet imperative if we (and relationships) aren’t to be torn asunder.

    Thank you, for sharing your heart and offering a forum, for us to share ours.

  11. Thank you Mary. These words were very compassionate, and perfect for today. I’m in Oregon, so far from NY, Wash. DC, and Pennsylvania, but my heart has grieved every year since 2001. It is something I will never forget. And since that day, on any ordinary day…the reality of ‘that day’ can suddenly pop into my mind. My daughter and I flew, then drove to NY just before the 1st Anniversary of 9/11. It made all the photos and videos and news reports I had seen, sadly come to life. Hudreds of days since then, I pause and pray for all those who lost loved ones, those who were maimed physically and emotionally. I pray for them and for all of us, that we will never have another day like ‘that day’. I pray we will all come to know His Peace and Comfort and learn to trust in Him completely. Jesus is the only answer for ‘that day’.

  12. My grandma passed away late last May. The day of her funeral, my daughter asked if we could still celebrate G’ma’s birthday in August. Of course!!!!! My husband was against it because that’s not how his family deals with grief. If this is what was going to make the kids…..my sister…..my mom feel good, then that’s what we would do. Little did we know that my dad would pass away at the end of July. 2 months after my grandma. That made it all the more important to be together.

  13. Thank you for such a beautiful reminder that no two of us are the same. We can understand how a person feels but we never KNOW how a person feels. Only he or she knows. And Jesus.
    My son Vinny passed away on December 29, 2012 – 29 days short of his 30th birthday. He wasn’t sick. He died peacefully (I hope) in his sleep. He lost his father when he was 13. I don’t know how he grieved since he never let anyone in.
    When Vinny died I showed very little outward emotion. For me grieving is a very personal experience. For some reason I didn’t want others to feel uncomfortable in my presence. What do you say to a widowed mother who has lost her only child?
    For a few months I wondered if there was something wrong with me. Why wasn’t I as sad as people expected me to be? I don’t know why but I do know that my faith in the strength Jesus gives me carries me. It was Vinny’s time to go home.
    I’m not “in shock” as some thought. I’m facing the reality of God’s Will.
    May you all have a Blessed day.

  14. Thank you Mary for your kind, compassionate words & then allowing all of us to open our hearts. Today I too remember & pray for everyone. It will be 2 years the 27 th of September my Mom went home to be with Jesus & like Lulu put into words grief is like the waves of oceans. Very well said. My Mom was my best friend, we did everything together. I miss her soo much. take it 1 day at a time. Keep your eyes on Jesus❤ God Bless each & everyone of you ladies❤

  15. Paul loved his country with the devotion of the veterans. I remember now alone all our holidays. He went to his other country in heaven on February of 2012.
    Thank you for reminding me that God remembers all.

  16. Thank-you Mary….your post was very beautifully written .

    Love and prayers to everyone that is grieving today.


  17. My sister-in-law shared this link on FB and I am so glad I read it…my husband passed away last Nov.16…this past yr (almost) has been a roller coaster ride of emotions, and I am still on the ride. Your words were so meaningful to me. Thank you, and God bless everyone today who has grieved for their loved ones from the Terrorist attack of 9/11/01, and also the ones grieving their loved ones from last yr’s attack at Bengazi(sp?), 9/11/12

  18. Thank you for your very intuitive words today. I was just thinking yesterday and today – feeling that God just doesn’t understand how much I still absolutely ache for my late husband. I sometimes still feel so devastated, even after 5 years, that I think that God just couldn’t understand. I needed to read this TODAY and know that he really does. Thank you.

  19. Mary,

    Beautifully & poetically written. Yes–all grieve in different ways. God is always there for the broken-hearted. It has been 4 years since mom died–literally, but 7 years since I lost her to dementia and sundowners. I miss her terribly & I know my dad misses her also. He grieves by remembering the good times they had together.

    I lost a beloved 4-legged pet just a year ago. I truly miss him. I grieve by looking at pictures and remembering the good times we had together.

    Grieving is a good healing process. A way to let out emotions and and try to be ok with the death of a friend or loved one!