About the Author

Aliza Latta is a Canadian writer, artist, and author, who is a huge fan of telling stories. Her artwork and writing has been featured in publications for LifeWay, Dayspring, and (in)courage. She is always searching for the goodness of God, even when she has to squint to see it.

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  1. Aliza,
    I’m so sorry for your loss of your wonderful friend, Tat. You have beautifully told of what I believe to be true about God’s comfort. I don’t believe, so much, that it’s a “taking away” of feelings (sadness, anxiety, anger, pain, grief), but an “adding to” our hearts of God’s love, peace, mercy, kindness, compassion, strength. It’s hard for us to grasp that mixed feelings and emotions can coexist. We can still reel from the pain of loss (grief can be our constant companion), but we can also still experience joy, pleasure, peace, goodness. **If that eludes us everyday, perhaps there is a chemical imbalance (depression/anxiety) that needs medical treatment.** One of my favorite verses is John 14:18: ” I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” God never leaves us alone in our pain. He is always our comforting and strengthening companion. He draws near to the brokenhearted. His compassion never fails. He is true to His promises. I am learning to count my pain and grief as blessings, because in them I have experienced the depth and width of God’s great love for me. Beautiful post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Aliza,
      I think you described the grief journey perfectly! I lost my Mom a little over a year ago and now I’m losing my sister due to her alcoholism relapse triggered by my Mom’s death.
      I agree God doesn’t take the pain away, but He gives us His presence and that brings comfort. Some days He is so neat and I clearly see Him holding me up! Then other days I struggle when I don’t feel Him there with me, but I know His word says He never leaves me! Grief forever changes us but slowly I am healing and moving forward through my grief taking my Mom’s memories with me. Give yourself lots of grace and mercy on this journey through grief. There is no healthy way to avoid it or go around it. The only way to heal is to go through it doing the hard work of grief. So grateful God is with me and I can truly say it has brought me into a deeper and closer walk with a Him than I have ever known.
      In His Comfort,
      Anita

      • Anita – I am so sorry! I feel that way too – some days, I can see God so clearly, and other days not so much. But I hold onto knowing that even when I can’t FEEL him, I know he is beside me. Love to you today, xo.

    • How very brave to put pen to paper and share this pain. Our son passed away one year ago this past June 27th. As the grief of losing him infused me, I also suffered the sense of losing my relationship with God. All the promises I clung to while he found his cancer battle, poof, disappeared. This I know was a lie that Satan wanted me to believe. The loss has changed me but it doesn’t change God. God is still bidding for me, with me through it all. Thank you for honoring your friend with your post.

      • Cathy, I am so deeply sorry. I cannot fathom your pain. I have had many doubts about God through this experience, but I am so grateful for his kindness. You’re right – we have been changed through this, but God doesn’t change. I love that. Thank you for your words. Praying for you now.

      • Cathy so sorry, this journey of grief after child loss is one filled with immense pain and nothing makes sense. I will be praying for you if that’s ok.

    • Yes, absolutely, Bev. I am learning that we can hold these things in tandem — grief and joy, all at once. Thank you for your beautiful words. You are always such an encouragement to me!

    • Eliza….a true friend still honouring Tat. With Jesus now but in your heart she remains! Thank you for sharing your most inner feelings and speaks clear your devotion to a friend so so missed and loved! Helping others to know they can also be so real as this grief journey is hard and indeed….with Jesus; He will lead us through as we face each new day with His promises to carry us through.
      I have buried 6 friends and one true friend age 24 and know the depth of such a loss. Add my son (age 17) in a car accident……your words today are, for sure, an inspiration Eliza!
      I promise to uphold you in prayer this day knowing many have lost someone …and dear Tat; thus her friends need be remembered often! Praying for you today!

  2. Grief fills the hole in our heart that is left at the death of a loved one… it brings depth to our spirit… I believe we carry that grief as a gift from God to be able to walk the same journey with others… may you come to rest in that grief as the very personal reminder from God of how special friendship is…

  3. I lost a dear friend and mentor over 15 years ago, and I still wish I could sit down with her and have a conversation at her cluttered kitchen table. The pain of loss becomes a part of who we are, and the way we handle it — and are handled by it– shapes us in ways that are mysterious.

    I believe that God suffers with us in all the groaning of loss, and it will be glorious one day to learn how the Spirit has translated our tears and inarticulate prayers into pleas for His goodness to be seen even in this.

    • I feel you, Michele. Something happened the other day and the only person I wanted to tell was Tat. It broke my heart all over again.

      I believe you are absolutely right. Emmanuel, God with us, suffering right alongside us.

  4. This is an amazing tribute to your love for your friend. May you continue to feel God’s presence in comfort in your loss.

  5. Aliza,

    Sweet sister in Christ I am praying for God’s comfort & peace for you. So sorry for the loss of one so young Lately I’ve come to question why some go so young & others live so long. God didn’t promise to alleviate our pain & suffering. But said He would be near to the brokenhearted. He promised that we would have trials & troubles down here. He also promised to send a comforter to help us deal with those issues. Everyone grieves differently. No one deals with death, loss or pain the same way. Some losses, death or pain take longer to overcome than others. Christians should have a small sense of peace knowing where their friends or loved ones are going. That doesn’t in any way diminish the pain of loss.
    Jesus is quite well acquainted with loss & pain. He understands our emotional states better than we do. David tells us in Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. One thing I’ve learned is that God is always there when you need Him. You just say His name & He hears you. He is that close in times of need.

    Blessings 🙂

  6. It is nine months today that my sweet Daddy left this earth u expectedly to be with Jesus. I am heartbroken and understand your grief. You have told of your sweet friend in such a loving way. God is so kind and loving and has met me where I am with my questions, my anger, my tears, He is there. I pray God will wrap you in His loving arms and that you conti me to feel His presence.

    • oh Tammy, I am so sorry for the pain you must be feeling today. Praying the exact same for you – that the love of Jesus would be wrapped around you. xo

  7. Aliza, Big HUG. I’m so sorry you have lost your friend. Always remember God is with you. I admit reading this today I started crying. I to have had loss this past year. My sister Betty passed away of cancer at 52 and a good friend lost his life to cancer also. God has been here for me I feel he has. But I still cry a lot for no reason. But through it all I have drawn closer to God. I feel lost many times but I know God’s got this. Reading devotions and reading others stories of how they get through have helped. It’s going to be ok maybe not now but it will be ok. Hold on to your memories. God loves you . Big hug. God Bless.

    Billie

    • Billie, I am so, so sorry. I still cry a lot for no reason too. I read in Psalm 56 the other day about how God collects every tear in a bottle. I loved that picture. I hope he has a lot of bottles for you and me 🙂 Much love to you today.

  8. Spoken with love and compassion. I pray God’s continued comfort over you Aliza. You are an incredible gift to others. Thank you for sharing your inner most being with us. Your words are soothing and powerful.

  9. God’s presence is with us through the sorrow, and he reminds us through little nudges like this devotional. I woke up this morning and noticed the date on my phone: July 22. It is my mom’s birthday. And this will be the 3rd year that she is not here to celebrate it with us. She would have been 66 this year. But we still sing to her. We still celebrate her, in the midst of our sorrow. And God is with us. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend Tat.

    • Happy birthday to your mom, Liz. I am so glad you keep singing to her. <3 I am grateful that Emmanuel -- God with us -- is with you today.

  10. God slowly heals our hearts. he doesn’t give up and walk away when we hold our grief he gently sits beside our beds as we cry. this I know. I lost 2 very dear friends in my life to cancer both leaving children behind and shattered husbands. both very lovely christian women.
    honestly the pain lingers but time does bring healing , I went from tears to now a quiet respect for each of these passed friends. I know that they are with our Lord enjoying many good things.
    May your grief slowly transform into a place of healing & remember that our healing doesn’t mean we forgot them it just means we have to go on for the people in our lives.
    May God hold you and lift you up as you heal.

  11. Dear Aliza, you are very brave. I have a friend who lost her son recently. I’m going to print your story for her. She’s 95 and on hospice. She thinks it’s very unfair that her son died before her. I think your words might help. Thank you.

  12. Aliza, thank you for sharing this story and I’m so sorry for your loss. This post is so beautifully written.

    During this season of loss, I am finding comfort in God’s presence. I find his presence when I praise Him, despite my circumstance; when I still proclaim He is God, He is powerful, and all knowing. I look up to see Him, above the fray and chaos of my emotions and feel wrapped in his love. I pray that for you today.

  13. It is the most unwelcome guest death that knocks at every door. It not nice. I look at it this way. No matter what age we are no matter how we loose people close too us. If saved we might not have them on this earth anymore. But we have not lost all. We might not see them on this earth hear their voice hear their laugh. But we have good memories of them on earth good photographs of them and happy times of days spent together. They want us to remember them like that and not be sad we don’t have them on earth anymore. They want us to rejoce we will still see them again one day when our time is up on earth. In glory with them with Jesus. They want us to be happy getting on with our lives. Yes always remembering the good times we had together. Until we meet again in Glory with Jesus. That what I do when I loose thoes that are saved and close too me. As I know that is what they want me to do. I will keep you in prayer for the 17th August for the first year of your friends first years of being gone as it will be hard on for you. Love Dawn Enniskillen Co.Fermanagh N.Ireland. As lost loved ones it not nice. You never get over it. But you learn to cope in the way I said in what I wrote. As it helps me. Xxx

  14. many many hugs to you! I am a bereaved Mommy, my sweet Mathew grew his angel wings March 3rd, 2006. The journey has been a rollercoaster of many emotions as I am sure it has for you. I am proud of you for sharing your story…your angel is proud to hear you speak their name. Take comfort that she is watching over you and is forever with you. Always here if you need a listening ear. May hugs to you and much love. xoxoxoxo Heather

  15. Thank you Aliza this beautifully captures grief and Gods comfort wrapped up into one sad package of our life missing our girl! Selfishly we want her here but we would not want her to have to give up her amazing new journey worshipping our Jesus face to face. Love you Aliza!!

  16. One last wish I often wish as for thoes that I love that are saved and I can’t have it. But I will get it in Heaven to Talk to them again as Much as I want. I wish even though I would not ask them to leave Jesus side. The beauty of Heaven to be back on earth with sometimes all it pain and suffering. As in Heaven there is no more pain or suffering. If the person I lost was sick to have them back again sick. When in Heaven they are healed with brand new bodies. All I wish it had is a phone so as I could hear their voices again just one more time. But I know that will never happen until I get to glory when my time up on earth. So God has said to me many a time. My child I love you. You will just have to be patient. The people you love that have gone to glory before you are all safe and I am taking good care of them. You will get to see them again one day in glory with me. Then you will have all the time to do all the talking you want with them. As time in Glory is no more. As there is no time. I look forward to that day. Aliza you look forward to that day with your friend. As she will be waiting in Glory for you. What chat you both will have and catching up you both will do in Glory. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little

  17. Oh, YES: “Comfort is the presence of God.” I, too, lost a young friend (eighteen years old) in a car accident many years ago. It seemed such a waste. Shelly was a strong Christian and would surely have served God faithfully. I was confident God would answer our prayers for her as she lay in a coma for a week. Why would God allow such a thing to happen? He gave me Romans 11:33-36, that concludes with the affirmation: “From him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever.” I did indeed feel the comforting presence of God as I meditated on those truths. But you’re right: comfort is not the removal of pain. Fifteen years after Shelly was taken home to heaven, I shared in a small group about Shelly and unexpectedly began to cry. The pain was still there. Yet! “Even so we can celebrate that God is near to the brokenhearted. He comes close. And He strengthens deeply with a comfort and peace only He can provide.” Beautifully expressed, Aliza.

  18. My relationship with death started at the age of 6 when my mom died (she was only 37). I grew up knowing life was short and hoping my dad wouldn’t die too. He did. I was 32 and still wondering if I would outlive my mom. Crazy, I know. But that’s what death does. It forces you to look at life and wonder. I’ve learned that we never get over death, we just get better at pretending like it doesn’t matter. But it does matter. Your blog post, that you so beautifully shared, reminds us all of a loss that we wish wasn’t real. Of a life we wish we could see one more time. The promise of Heaven makes me smile. Because we will get that moment again. Here’s to you and here’s to Tat. May your memories continue to bring joy to those you share them with.

  19. Thank you for sharing this, Aliza. It is somehow encouraging to me, as we’ve had 3 early pregnancy losses in just over a year of marriage (the first was over a year ago). I believe grief doesn’t ever completely leave. My heart goes out to you.

  20. Aliza, I am sorry for the loss of your friend Tat. I know how you feel. That date becomes a constant reminder of the loss and as I am learning, grieving is a way for you to show all the love you feel for that person. I know this grief doesn’t discriminate nor does it keep track of where you are. It can be the littlest of things that reminds you and there you are stuck with the memories and you find yourself with tears flowing. I had lost my best friend of over 40 years 18 months ago. I am thankful I had spent all those 4 decades with her but I cannot imagine spending another 30 more years without her either. I know though we will see them and so we must continue on to honor them, to cherish their memories and know that they are saving us a seat. Much love to you and healing for your heart.

  21. Thank you Aliza for your clear, heartfelt, encouraging thoughts on loss and grief, and the comfort you’ve experienced. I think of Tat’s family and friends often as I walk/trip/stumble through grief as well. May our Lord Jesus bless you for articulating your reality in a way that comforts and encourages all who are grieving.

  22. I love you, Aliza. And I love the way you share Tat, and grief, and all the unknowns, and Jesus in the midst of it. I’m with you…I think grief, in some form, is a forever companion. But God is just as fiercely with us. His presence is our comfort. Yes. Thank you for the reminder. xx

  23. Aliza,
    My deepest sympathy for your loss. Grief is obviously different for everyone and I don’t think or ever leaves us but with time a lot of time those memories of our loved one that have moved on to be with Jesus, well the memories don’t have such a sharp pain, it dulls and we remember and react to the memory still with sadness but our grief is not as violent. We can remember the good times and at some point life carries on and we can look back on a memory with a mix of happiness, gratitude and tears. God is with you, hold on as tight as you can and talk out, cry out to him, he will never leave us.