What Do You Do When All You Want Is to Go Home to Heaven After Losing a Loved One?

Question from a reader:

After my husband went home to Jesus, I found Randy’s book and it has brought MUCH comfort. I know where my husband is, and I know I'll get him back when I go home too. I know we’ll spend all eternity together never to be separated again. The rest of my life here on this earth waiting to get home too is overwhelming. He unexpectedly dipped out and went home early. It would probably be easier if I was older and knew I wouldn’t be on this earth too much longer.

What do you do when all you want to do is go home too? Like I've been left behind and just want to go too? My kids are grown, and I’ve got grandkids, but my whole world and future was tied to my husband. We were one just as God designed us to be, and now half of me is in Heaven.

Answer from Stephanie Anderson, EPM staff:

I’m so very sorry to hear of your sudden loss of your husband. I know Randy would relate to your comment, “Half of me is in Heaven.” He wrote this to someone else who had lost their spouse: “He still has a purpose for you and for me here in this world.” And: “Nanci and I had our own lives, but in some areas we were inseparable, and therefore, I felt part of me went to Heaven with her. Yet I know that just as I want her to be enjoying abundant life in the presence of Jesus, she wants me to enjoy abundant life in Him here. You may need to discover what new directions God might have for you. Ask Him.”

And years ago he wrote this in his Heaven book: “As long as God keeps you here on Earth, it’s exactly where He wants you. He’s preparing you for another world. He knows precisely what He’s doing. Through your suffering, difficulty, and depression, He’s expanding your capacity for eternal joy. Our lives on Earth are a training camp to ready us for Heaven. …When Jesus is done—not before—He’ll take you home in his own time and way. Meanwhile, God has a purpose for you here on Earth.”

As wonderful as human marriage is—and it sounds like yours was a true gift—it was never meant to be our ultimate source of fulfillment and security, but to mirror the love and commitment found in our Triune God. He is the only one who can fully complete and eternally satisfy us. It may seem like a big exaggeration when Asaph writes, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you” (Psalm 73:25). But he understood the truth that all our joys and relationships are gifts from God’s gracious hand. He is the source, the primary; they are the secondary.

Through this devastating loss, He promises to remain with you, to be all that you need, to comfort and guide you. It may not feel like there is anything good in life right now. Grief is so very, very hard. But by faith, you can affirm: “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!” (Psalm 27:13). One of those good purposes He may have for you is one day coming alongside others who are grieving and need hope (see 2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

One book I’ve been recommending to those who are grieving is Clarissa Moll’s Beyond the Darkness. She also lost her husband suddenly at a young age. I found it very practical and helpful, and I’ve heard back from a few readers who said it really helped. Clarissa posts regularly about grief on Instagram and also has a website with resources.

Also, Jerry Sittser’s books A Grace Disguised and A Grace Revealed are excellent. Jerry experienced a sudden and devastating set of losses, and his insights have helped many grieving people over the years. Hope is the First Dose by Lee Warren is full of practical wisdom.

Randy also answered a question about discovering identity after loss.  And he shared at his church about an eternal perspective on loss and grief.

Connecting with others in seeking hope despite grief can bring some relief. Consider joining a GriefShare group or meeting with others in your church community who’ve also suffered loss. You might also find one-on-one grief counseling with a biblical counselor helpful.

God bless you, as you seek God’s purposes for you in this new season of life (including investing in those precious grandkids and kids).

“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands” (Psalm 138:8).

“…in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16).

Photo: Pexels

Stephanie Anderson is the communications and graphics specialist at Eternal Perspective Ministries.