How Can You Miss What You Never Had?

wounded heartThink about it: how can you miss something you never had?

Easy. You understand that you lost something potentially precious.

That understanding may be on a conscious level, or it may be below the surface. But that depth of loss can certainly lead to grief.

That question really bugs me. It’s like asking a woman who mourns her miscarriage why she’s so sad. Through no fault of her own, her dream of raising a happy and healthy child is destroyed. She can never have that particular child. Of course she grieves the loss of something she never had.

frightened child



If you never had a good relationship with your father and/or mother, you might observe friends with that type of relationship. You learn how it should have been. You grieve for what never was because it’s a loss of what God intended for your life. He set up the family unit with the plan of healthy relationships between parents and children to illustrate the relationship between God the Father and His children.



If you, like me, never had a loving relationship with a spouse you grieve the loss of the dream. You mourn what never was. Even when you have a strong and loving relationship with the Lord, there are times of grief. When you see a couple that’s been married for a long time, who have worked at the relationship in a Godly manner, you can feel pain.

In a similar manner, an abusive childhood causes grief for the loss of what God intended for you. You know what should have been, but it wasn’t like that.

I’m sure you can think of other times when you feel deep pain for something you never had. It’s not a fantasy, not wishful thinking. It’s bona fide grief.

It hurts to know what you missed. That loss causes deep grief. Part of it is spiritual because you know your relationship with Father God has been damaged by your grief and your responses. Part of it is emotional because you realize you and your family were dysfunctional and destructive.


Now, can you grieve the loss and forgive those who failed you?

Can you invite Jesus into those areas of grief and allow Him to bring peace and healing? I’m sure you have learned it never happens overnight, but He can and does ease the pain. His presence brings comfort to those painful areas.

And you learn to hope again.

This is part 4 of a series on grief

Part 1|Are You Living With Grief?

Part 2|Time Heals Grief?

Part 3| I Deserve My Grief!

all illustrations courtesy of