This year and last have been hard ones for me. In July of 2017, my father passed away. He lived in Florida and I live in Virginia, so I was not able to see him much. In fact, I had last visited him three years before his death. I had planned to go to Maryland for a retirement party that my children were having for me and then to Pennsylvania to stay while my husband visited his brother. My husband would pick me up in Pennsylvania and we would head to Florida soon thereafter so I could see daddy, since I knew he was not doing well. But he died before I could get there. My brothers told me it was better for me not to see him in his condition since I had had a stroke in 2015 and they wanted to shield me from the stress. So I said good-bye to my beloved father via Face Time and Skype. And God held me close and told me that He would be with me. Then in October of this year, my best friend went to the hospital again, with an infection that just would not go away and was attacking her spine. She lives over an hour away from me, but my husband and I went into town weekly, for me to visit Heidi and for him to go to lunch with Bob, her husband. Heidi was moved to a nursing home, back to the hospital, to a different room in the hospital and she saw numerous specialists. She was in a great deal of pain, so I held her hand and we did Lamaze breathing together to get her through the waves of pain that engulfed her. In spite of all the antibiotics and care, the infection continued to spread and I saw my friend start to fade away from me. She was on painkillers all the time and wasn’t lucid much. The week before she died we had a wonderful visit, talking about our grandchildren and laughing together as I read to her from Bob Goff’s book, Everbody, Always. She was the old Heidi that I knew and loved and I was so thankful for that good visit. The following week, she was in terrible condition again, and my heart hurt to see her like that. When I hugged and kissed her good-bye that day, I walked out of the room sobbing, knowing that it would be the last time I saw her on this earth. Heidi passed away the next day. I was thankful that she was no longer in pain, but selfishly, I wanted her with me so we could talk and go to the beach together as we had planned before she got sick. Again, God held me close and whispered to me that He was with me. Two tremendous losses in one year have been almost more than I could take. But God continues to comfort me and tell me that this mountain is one that I am not climbing alone. He is holding my hand and we are walking this path together. I don’t think that I could have made it through this time of grieving without the Lord, and I wonder how people who do not believe in Him survive. Sometimes, like now as I write, the grief of all I have lost almost overwhelms me. Father’s Day is coming quickly, and my daddy is in Heaven. But, I know that God is with me, and that helps me to keep going, one day at a time. I hope that those who read this have the Comforter with them, just as I do. Through this experience, I have been climbing the mountain of the fear of death and God continues to tell me that no matter what He is with me. Is God with you, in a way that you know that no matter what or whom you lose, you still have God? He is my Father and my friend, and I hope that He is yours, because you will need Him to make it to the top of the mountains of life.