The Waves of Grief


Grief is like walking along the beach, always trying to move forward down the path of life. Sometimes the waves come up to your knees and you can still press forward, but sometime you get crushed and washed aside and it takes a little bit to get back up on your feet again. When you first lose your spouse, it seems like you’re either being tossed about wave after wave, or laying crippled on the beach, unable to pick yourself for awhile. Over time, the frequency between waves seem to spread out, but they still hit just as hard as in the beginning.

For awhile, I let myself get surprised that a wave of grief hit me again out of nowhere, especially when I felt like I was getting a handle on life again. But the waves kept coming and I kept getting washed ashore and crippled.

The truth of the matter is, these waves will never stop.

We will always miss our spouses dearly.

I got tired of feeling like I was losing progress with each wave, so I started taking a different approach to walking down the beach of life. I always try to remember to bring a surfboard with me daily, because I never know when these waves will crash. I hop on my board, and I don’t always ride them gracefully; sometimes I still get knocked off and washed ashore. But more often than not, I am able to ride my board with the wave and reach the beach safely and continue walking along.

I’ve carved my surfboard out various things to help keep me above the water:

  • Christ’s atonement or His grace
  • My testimony and faith
  • Working diligently on my spirituality through prayer and study
  • Focusing on the strengths my spouse gave me
  • Keeping perspective by knowing that we still are working together towards a better tomorrow.

Sometimes I even feel special help comes from my wife and other angels to help me keep my balance on the surfboard. The waves of grief will always be a constant in our lives, but we all can ride them out if we are prepared.

The key is to make your surfboard strong and take it with you always.

A surfboard also needs a good daily waxing in order to perform the best, so it’s important to repent and make changes by using the atonement daily and to pray for the strength to get through the day, or hour, or minute. We cannot get through this trial on our own, we need help to get through our hard times, and that help is always there for us!


On July 19, 2012, Christopher Hostetter lost his wife Ali in a tragic vehicle accident when she sacrificed her life to help a stranger. They were only married for 8 months, but they made every moment count when they were together. Ali was loved by everyone and was a middle school teacher who made an impact in her students’ lives. Christopher is trying to continue Ali’s legacy of trying to make a positive impact on the world and is working on video games to teach principles of the truth to the youth and gamers. Christopher is a video game designer for Disney Interactive.

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