Before I share with you a little about myself, let me start with a disclaimer—I am not a counselor, a clinical therapist, or a credentialed professional. Rather, I am someone just like you who has experienced the sorrow and pain of death and grief, an experience of the heart like no other in all of life.
A few years ago my beloved husband Leighton died quite unexpectedly, only 90 days after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was the great love of my life, my best friend, and my soul’s true mate. When he died, my heart broke into a what felt like a million small pieces. My grief for him was profound and prolonged.
A few months later, my father died. Though my grief for my father was heartfelt, when he died, we were 100%—no words of love had been left unsaid. Ours was the simple, sweet parting of a devoted child and parent.
My mother died a few years later. My grief for her was troubled because we had a complex, very complicated relationship that no amount of rationalization or self-talk could reconcile in my heart. I found the resolution of my grief for her in forgiveness—I forgave her, I forgave myself, and God forgave us both.
Each experience of grief is different and, in some way, life-altering. Since the death of my husband, I have immersed myself in trying to understand grief—what it is, how we respond to grief, how we resolve it, and how we incorporate it into our lives. When we do the work of grief understanding, we take the true measure of ourself and find answers to many important questions about life and death that move us beyond our grief toward hope and new life, even as we grow in our faith.
I am the author of several books that address the practical and spiritual challenges of grief including the Beyond the Broken Heart grief group resources, Inside the Broken Heart, Beyond the Broken Heart: Daily Devotions for Your Grief Journey, A Journey Through Grief, and Secure in the Storm. In writing about grief, I share from the heart some of my personal experiences and faith challenges, with a single thought in mind—to help just one person. Perhaps that person is you.
My newest book, Present Comfort, is for those who have experienced loss and for those who are at a loss to understand the range of emotions specific to grief. The meditations in Present Comfort offer assurance, encouragement, and spiritual insight for those who grieve, and context for those who desire to share in the heart and language of grief.
I live in Dallas, Texas and like many of you, have a job and work. I am President of Yarbrough Investments and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.
What gives me joy in life is service. I am a member of the Board of Directors of Methodist Health System, the Board of Texas Methodist Foundation, and the Executive Board of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. I am an active member of Highland Park United Methodist Church, where my beloved husband was senior minister for twenty-three years.
When Leighton died, I knew that I must do something—anything—to find the redemptive value in his death. I believe God showed me the way to do this by serving others as a guide through the pain and heartache of grief. I do this as a grief group leader and lay grief facilitator. I do this through writing books and regular blogs on this website. I do this by being available to you by email if you need to share the pain of your heart with a confidential, understanding listener. I do this through prayer for you—individually and personally. I do this because like you, my faith has been tried and tested by death and grief. I do this because I believe with absolute certainty that the power of a loving, caring God will comfort and heal your broken heart, just as it has mine.
You are not alone.