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Facing Life After Tremendous Grief

Michael Voll's book, "Sideswiped: Three Keys to a Fresh Start after Suffering a Broken Heart" is a story about his life.

Michael got married fairly young to his high school sweetheart. Married and active in ministry. Life was going good and they were making plans for the future. Going on a drive and on December 1, 2001 they hit some black ice. As they started to slide sideways. As that happened he knew life would never be the same. Went down a steep embankment and rolled a few times. When they stopped there beside him sat his beautiful wife slumped against the vehicle. She passed away shortly thereafter.

It has been 14 years and he has now written his book. He titled it "Sideswiped" because that's how he felt. He says that for most of us, when we experience a traumatic event, you can never prepare for it. The younger we are, the worse it is. You feel like you are indestructible but then something happens. It changed his whole trajectory. Life was never the same, a lot of changes came, a lot of grief, a lot of plans had to be put aside.

It often leaves us reeling and we aren't sure what to do with it. There is no manual for grief. There are common traits to grief but it is done differently. Most people are going to go through a time of numbness. A time of denial. A time of real questioning. Anger is often a response when things don't go our way. Depression sometimes sets in.

How do we help when someone is going through a hard time without saying something hurtful? People want to help. We want to say that one thing that is going to bring comfort. The most important thing we can do is to love. We don't need to give anybody any advice. Sometimes it is just being there for someone.

After the sideswipe he understood grace. He saw such grace even though he felt unlovable. That grace and compassion has helped him so much as a pastor now.

God brought a new woman into Michael's life. It takes a strong woman to love somebody who has loved so deeply before and communicates about it publicly. They have 2 wonderful children.

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