About the Author

Dorina is an author, speaker, teacher, foodie, and trail runner. She helps people chase God's glory down unexpected trails and flourish in their callings. Her most recent books are Breathing Through Grief and Chasing God's Glory. Dorina and her hubby Shawn are raising three courageous daughters in Central California.

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Just what I needed as the first holidays without my mom draw near. Thank you for this beautiful reminder!

    • Regina, I lost my mother earlier this year, too. I felt encouraged as well as her birthday is this month along with the first holidays without her. Thinking of you.

  2. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea. I recently lost my father(September 3rd), some days are fine and some days are unbearable. I feel like I burden people when I continue to speak of him, your devotional has given me the courage to continue to speak of my father to all who will listen.

  3. I always love to hear this story–to hear how God has carried you through it all and met you every step of the way. I can’t wait to meet Ericlee in heaven one day. Big hugs to you my friend. 🙂


  4. This was so encouraging! I lost my mother earlier this year & sharing her stories & remembering her has been such an unexpected blessing in my grief journey.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  5. My sister passed from this life to her eternal home in Heaven just 2 weeks ago. I’m still adjusting to not having our almost daily long-distance phone calls.
    I love that word “Heaveniversary”! I think I’ll be using that in the future to help commemorate those milestone dates.

    • I’m so sorry for this recent loss. I’m praying for God to walk with you through each day. Feel free to steal the Heaveniversary idea!

  6. This past Wednesday, my daughter and her boyfriend took me out to lunch to celebrate what would have be my husband’s 90th birthday. Chuck left us in 2018. Gathering and remembering was so helpful for us. I moved to Colorado in 2019 and some of my new neighbors marvel that I seem to be doing so well in such a short time. I attribute it to my faith and the fact that we talk about Chuck freely and are able to take comfort in our memories. After his death, it made me take notice of people that have no connection to God, or a place of worship and I wonder how they cope with loss. I am blessed.

  7. This really helped me! My husband’s 10th heaveniversary will be February 1 and I still tell so many stories about him with others many of whom never even met him! I love this idea. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I have found my son alive again after he told me his hardship and difficulties at his high school years when he first entered the school in Florida as a foreigner.
    It was first time ever heard those stories for me.
    Not only retelling the legacy of the late one graduated to Heaven but I learn the lesson to give a time and more time to listen the story from my son mentally dead, how he suffered and felt at the time of trouble..Appreciated your story so dearly…

    • Yes, there is healing in sharing our stories! There’s actually brain science that shows this to be true. Grateful for a God who designed us in this way!

  9. Perfectly timed post! Had word yesterday of 2 deaths of relatives of friends. Heavenanniversary is a wonderful idea! Wheels r starting to spin with ideas for my mom & Mom-in-law’s parties next summer. Thank you for planting the seeds! Bless you!

  10. What a perfect article. Our Bible study had involved each member sharing their faith walk and we did so through many tears, prayers and healing. Sharing your personal story can I have a profound impact on someone else. Thank you for this message as I will be sharing it with my sisters in Christ.

  11. Dear Dorina,
    I always look forward to your devotionals! I also live in Central Coast of CA & love it here. My brother-in-law passed away 2 years ago this month but wasn’t a believer. He left a wife & they didn’t have any kids. I’ve tried to minister to my sister-in-law but it’s been pretty difficult. I think she’s more open now & we’re trying to show her the love of God.

    My heart aches for what you had to go thru as a young mother but also thankful that God brought another wonderful man into your life to be your husband as well as a father to your girls.

    Lord bless you!

    • Barbara, it’s a blessing and encouragement to hear from you. Praying for wisdom as you minister to your sister-in-law. May the God of comfort come near.

  12. Hi Dorina, I had never heard of a Heaveniversary celebration but think it is a beautiful way to change the focus of remembering the day my own husband passed. I will definitely adopt your suggestion and, if it’s okay with you, pass it on. I have a website where I write about grief and loss and am always looking for ideas to share with others. Thank you for your post. Jennifer

  13. Hi
    Ive lost many friends this year. And also Ive been helping another friend cope with her deep loss too. This Heaveniversary is
    really a great idea to celebrate the lives of those we have lost. hoping to share this with a few others too who have coped differently with their loss.

    • Angela, I’m so sorry for the loss you have endured this year. I’m glad you the Heaveniversary party resonates with you!

  14. Thank You for this devotion. We can relate to a heavenaversary.. I like that. Our 17yr old son passed on our property on April 17,2015, due to a garden tractor accident. Now our oldest son has not talked to us for almost a yr and a half, and we have a granddaughter who will be 1 in Dec and we have not seen her or met her.
    I like how you wrote and retelling our stories helps us with the trauma that’s in our brain. My husband and I have told our story many times and in fact our Associate Pastor even did a video of our story so our church family could hear it. As our church has grown. It’s hard being a grieving parent.

    • Melinda, I’m deeply sorry for the loss you have endured! I can’t imagine losing a child. I’m glad you have found some healing and hope through sharing your story with others. I know God can use even our hard stories for His glory!

  15. Dorina,

    What a great idea to have a Heaveniversary. A time to remember the loved one. Our children need to hear stories of their loved one lost. God asks us to make memorials to remind us of loved ones gone on or things He has done for us. After crossing the Jordan God had the Israelites take 12 stone & make a memorial. That way all the children would know for generations. Retelling stories helps us know the person better & never ever forget them.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Yes! There are so many examples in the Bible where the people and God took time to remember. I love the remembrance stones story too. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Hi Dorina,
    A friend sent me this and it is a great idea. We recently lost our youngest daughter after a long illness, and it would be a great way for the family to remember her together, and to pass on her memory to their children. Thanks, Jenny