Layers of Grief and Loss

Layers of Grief and Loss

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15

The death of a saint is beautiful in the sight of the Lord. I get it. However, it wasn’t beautiful for those of us left behind.

Over time, I have learned death yields many layers of grief and loss.

First, Kim lost her life. She always embraced life and lived well. She invested her life. But now, she lost the enjoyment of life. She lost the joy of grandchildren. But, as I learned in my previous post about my vivid dream, she is just fine. Yes, she lost some things, but what she has gained is incomparable.

And then there’s my loss. I lost my life companion and friend. I lost the potential of the rest of my life with Kim. My retirement years will be different. I am a grandfather without a grandmother by my side. My loss is multifaceted and multidimensional. There are so many layers to my loss. Almost every single day I discover new levels, dimensions, or layers of loss.

My children lost their mother. They needed her influence in their lives—not only in the past but also in the future. Mothers make life sweeter. Kim was so much more thoughtful than I am. She was the glue that drew us all together. Don’t get me wrong, I love being with my family. But she was the planner that made it happen almost effortlessly. A mother is a lifelong friend to children. A mother is a lifelong fan of her children.

My grandsons and my granddaughter lost one of the best Grandminny’s ever. I know I shouldn’t compare. But she was loving and embracing grandmother-hood, and she was good at it. Regardless, my grandchildren lost a grandmother who would have poured into their lives for good.

Kim’s parents and her brother, Greg, lost a wonderful daughter and sister. Kim adored her family and they lose out on a loyal family member who selflessly loved them. Not to mention her extended family.

“…pictures fall far short of what they were in real life and what real life was like with them.” Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss

Kim had friends who have lost a genuine friend. There are several of her closest friends, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Leigh Ann Fort. Leigh Ann had a good friend in Kim. And Kim had a good friend in Leigh Ann. Leigh Ann spoke of Kim more like a sister. Anyone who considered Kim a friend lost out. Another layer of loss.

I thought about another side of loss. Kim impacted many people through her writing. She edited, wrote, compiled, or ghost-wrote fifteen books or booklets. If you don’t know Kim, just Google Kim P. Davis. Death robbed us of her future work.

There are so many layers, sides, dimensions, and ramifications to loss. Only time will reveal them all. For now, I take solace in Kim’s good name and that her loss has been turned to gain for her and important lessons for us.

“A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.” Ecclesiastes 7:1


  1. Anonymous

    D. Ray, we grieve with you. Kim was an unusal soul with a heart that extended to every person she met. Her smile was captivating. Her countenance was addictive. She truly was a special person and we loved her (and you) dearly. We pray God will continue to give you peace and comfort as you and your entire family walk through this valley. Your loss is Heaven’s gain, but the question remains…why? Love you D. Ray.

    Bob and Oakie Blevins. Emeritus missionaries, Namibia, Africa

    • D. Ray

      Thank you, Bob and Oakie. We were both blessed to serve with colleagues such as you two.

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing! Everytime I read your post tears well up in my eyes as I recall our time serving together in Africa and RVA. We grieve with you and for you and pray for you, my brother. Love you and your family!!!

    • D. Ray

      Thank you! Our friends and colleagues have walked my family through the layers of loss, and we are grateful. We are healing, and we are stronger because of Christ and his body!

  3. Linda

    Oh but there was only one Amazing Grandminny…so you are not remiss to call her out as BEST Grandminny! I will always be grateful for her gift to Ava of Pout Pout Fish…so when I read it I can tell Ava about my sweet friend Kim that gave it to her. Kim gave fully of her gifts from the Lord and we are grateful!

    • D. Ray

      Amen, Linda! We have a video of her reading Pout Pout Fish to Beckett. Priceless.

  4. Annette

    So in the loss the treasures are revealed, one tiny pearl or shining stone……………..each in its own time and place. Soulmate relationship, friendships, family, extensions of family, each a lasting portion of what will come in the reuniting with Jesus and those we love.

    • D. Ray

      Thank you, Annette. The other side of these layers will be layers of reuniting. Well said.

  5. Anonymous

    I share your grief. I lost my precious soul mate December 23 2017 after over 60 years of knowing her and 59 years plus oneness in marriage. I relate to every layer. I just look forward to seeing her again and worshipping our Savior together. God Bless and take comfort in your family.

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