Grief During the Holidays

Today, as I casually scrolled Facebook, I came across a post from a college friend of mine. Back in the day, he was on my brother floor in college, and married my college roommate, Jill.

In Memory of Jill

A year ago today, he became a widow. Jill lost her battle with cancer, and joined her Savior for eternity.

While I reflect today, about her life, and her impact on others, I am blessed to have known her – even for a short time.

Precious Memories

Remembering our talks in our dorm room. Her dumping as much white powder on the floor, to keep the bed bugs out of our room, it looked like a gingerbread house! Although, it worked!

The time she found a large black and yellow spider in her bed. As she had the top bunk, she jumped down so fast and screamed so loud, I couldn’t help but laugh so hard!

Even her suddenly streaking into her last floor meeting, as she was a senior that year, and the look on my female R.A.’s face was priceless!

I’m engaged!

In the words of Jill, “my roommate is freakin engaged! …alright ladies…this will be my 3rd roommate to get married, who wants to be next?!!! πŸ˜ƒ congrats Adrianne Meier!” I’m so glad she got her chance to be married to such a wonderful man.

One of my favorite memories, is being in gospel choir with her. She sang the solo in “Revelation Song” and I will never forget the power and authenticity in her voice.

Gospel Choir 2011-2012

Secondly, was her love for dance parties and late nights investing in the girls on our floor. Jill was a true friend and leader.

Finally, the time I delivered flowers to her, from her future husband, and the chance to see first hand how she felt about him. To watch their relationship grow was truly remarkable.

As a result, I realized why I feel so melancholy during the holidays. It is because I’ve lost so many people in my short life.

Those I’ve Lost

Following, is a list of the people I’ve lost in my lifetime:

  1. My paternal grandfather – I was two weeks old.
  2. My paternal grandmother – at the age of 6
  3. My uncle – cancer, died two days before Christmas
  4. My former pastor – home church
  5. My future father-in-law – cancer
  6. My maternal grandmother – right before I conceived my first child
  7. My cousin – died suddenly
  8. Two MS classmates in the same summer – one to cancer, one a blood clot
  9. Third HS classmate – ATV accident, Jr. Year
  10. Fourth HS classmate – missing and unknown cause of death
  11. Fifth HS classmate – suicide
  12. College roommate, Jill – cancer
  13. Miscarried our third child
  14. My husband’s paternal grandfather – one month after our 2nd child’s birth
  15. My husband’s paternal grandmother – in the same month her husband did, a few years later
  16. Husband’s uncle – cancer, during COVID
  17. Husband’s paternal grandmother’s sister-in-law (his great aunt) – during COVID
  18. Countless church members, from past and present churches

Sadly, I’m not even sure this is the complete list, but these were the pinnacle deaths I can remember.

Life Reflection

Ultimately, life is too short. Don’t waste your opportunities to love on someone, family or not. You have no idea how short their time here on Earth truly is.

Thankful for Jill

In San Diego

Back to my college roommate, I had no idea her life would end so soon. I’m thankful we’d visited her and her husband when we had traveled nearby.

I do regret not spending more time with her in the moment at college, but am so thankful God provided the opportunity to see her one last time.


As Thanksgiving is approaching, I’m reminded to be thankful. Thankful for each and every one of those people I’ve lost. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to know them and be a small part of their lives.

However, I’m most thankful God has provided a way for us to see them again. How different my grief would be if not for Heaven and for eternity with God. I cling to that hope and have faith in what I can’t yet see.

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