This Side of Gone

By Brenda Jank

This side of gone – my side – stinks and is harder than heck. 
Our son, Joshua*, died 5 months ago.

Josh’s side of gone, is literally out of this world. It is fabulous and forever and celebrated in the arms of God. Josh is alive, healed, whole!

Grief, as so many know, is heavy and hard.
It is a work of God in the inner chamber – planned and unplanned.
It is ugly. It is beautiful.
God shows up in it and through it miraculously.
(Oh the power of AND and the power of YET.)
It sucks me dry.


Bottom line – this is what God feels for me.

When I am distant or distracted, He longs for reconnection, resolution and restoration.
And so he pursues.
In our grief.
In our groaning.
In our growth-track toward joy.


*Josh was 29-years old when he died of cancer, complicated by Sickle Cell Anemia and a rare liver-lung disease. Josh was on the Autism Spectrum and had a stroke when he was 5. Courageous, kind, and crazy (never a dull moment with this kid), Josh lived on mission! You can get a glimpse of his joy at
Oh my friends, the word “was” and the word “gone” sting my eyes with tears.

Brenda Jank and the Run Hard. Rest Well team are thought leaders in the arena of Restorative Wellness. Find additional resources at Contact us at:

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9 thoughts on “This Side of Gone”

    • Pop – You express this so perfectly.
      It was such a 2-way street.
      The stinker drove me crazy at times.
      24/7 for 10 years is a lot of hours under the same roof.
      I drove him crazy, too.
      But love drove it all.
      And God’s Red Diamond Mission HE gave us to share.
      It will be Kingdom-Building for decades to come.
      Love you!

  1. Your vulnerability in grief is an amazing testament to God’s grace. We care. Praying for you and yours!

    -Jared Norton. (Restoration Farms.)

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  2. Thinking of you as I read your post, and feel your loss so powerfully expressed. You probably know this text but I think it expresses well our cry of the heart:
    Healer of our every ill,
    light of each tomorrow,
    give us peace beyond our fear,
    and hope beyond our sorrow.

    1 You who know our fears and sadness,
    grace us with your peace and gladness;
    Spirit of all comfort, fill our hearts. [Refrain]

    2 In the pain and joy beholding
    how your grace is still unfolding,
    give us all your vision, God of love. [Refrain]

    3 Give us strength to love each other,
    every sister, every brother;
    Spirit of all kindness, be our guide. [Refrain]

    4 You who know each thought and feeling,
    teach us all your way of healing;
    Spirit of compassion, fill each heart. [Refrain]

  3. Brenda, thank you for sharing your heart so openly with us. I love the way you express the bittersweet of Christian grieving separation from a loved one. And how you tied it into God feeling that for us. Beautiful. Your post today helped me in my own joyful, tearful bittersweet.

  4. I think the grieving is part of the loving. I’m sure you have been an incredible mother in his situation. May you sense God’s goodness through the hurt of loss. For Him, john



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