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Posted by Pat Elsberry, March 8, 2024

Forgiveness means different things to different people. It involves intentionally letting go of any resentment and anger you may harbor against another. Whatever the act that hurt or offended you was, it might always be with you, but working on forgiveness can lessen the grip it has on you. 


We have all had someone do or say something that offended us. But, how do we handle forgiving someone who will not communicate with you? And, is it possible to receive forgiveness from someone who’s already died? I believe it’s possible to give and receive forgiveness from a loved one who no longer speaks to you, or is no longer on this earth. 


Maybe you had a fight with your loved one and shared some harsh words before they died, and you never got the chance to tell them how sorry you were. First of all, they are not holding that against you.

Heaven does not allow for anger and dissension. It’s a place of pure love.


In Heaven, no one harbors revenge, resentment, or anger whatsoever. They are given a new lens to look through, which is with total unconditional love. 


Did you know that there are three types of forgiveness? Exoneration, forbearance, and release. In the case of forgiving someone who is no longer here, release is the one that applies.


Release asks that instead of continuing to define your life in terms of the hurt done to you, you can release any bad feelings and your preoccupation with the negative things that have happened. More importantly, release is critically significant: it allows you to let go of the burden weighing you down and eating away at your chance for healing and happiness.


If you don’t release the pain and anger and move past dwelling on old hurts, you will be allowing the ones who hurt you to live rent-free, in your mind and heart, forever reliving the oppression that the original incident started.


The Bible references forgiveness at least 49 times. We must forgive others if we want to be forgiven (Matthew 6:14-15; Colossians 3:12-13).  


Practicing forgiveness can have powerful health benefits. Studies have shown that forgiveness is associated with lower levels of anxiety, depression, and hostility, along with having higher self-esteem and greater life satisfaction.


If something is weighing on your heart and you wish to share it with your loved one who is no longer here, you can write them a letter. Get a piece of paper and a pen, or sit at your computer and pour your heart out to them. Once you’ve expressed everything you want, you can either keep or destroy the letter. The important thing is that you begin to let your heart be free to move forward in your healing. 

Pat Elsberry is an author, speaker, blogger, and a passionate advocate for parents dealing with grief after the loss of a child. Pat created multiple social media groups focused on providing hope to others who are walking the same path, including her blog, Hope During Loss. Pat facilitates an in-person grief share for women who have experienced child loss, and is also a moderator for Team Sharing, a nationwide peer-led support group for parents who have lost children to substance use disorder. Pat is the author of Beautifully Broken: Finding Hope During Loss, and will soon release her first devotional, Comforted by God. Pat and her husband, Fred live outside Atlanta and have a blended family of 7 children and 5 grandchildren. Her favorite things include traveling, cooking, gardening, dark chocolate, and worship music. You can find Pat on her blog,, and on Facebook and Instagram @HopeDuringLoss.

3 comentarios

10 mar

Thank you for sharing, Pat. This has been very helpful to me.

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08 mar

Thank you for this encouraging message. I need & appreciate this! N.B.

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08 mar

Beautiful words of encouragement, Pat.

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