Beauty for Ashes: I lost my husband, yet drew closer to God

Yannie Yong // December 3, 2021, 8:21 pm

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The young family, who worships at Trinity Christian Centre, was devastated when Yannie's husband was killed in a car accident during the Christmas period. All photos courtesy of Yannie Yong.

It was Christmas. Everybody loves Christmas.

On December 5, 2015, my husband sent the girls to church and texted me and said: “Hey, I’m on the way home.”

It was during the Christmas season that Yannie came home to the news that her husband had been killed in a car accident.

When I arrived home and came through the door, the policeman was there, and he said: “I’m so sorry. Your husband met with a car accident, and he didn’t make it.”

I thought: “No, this can’t be happening.”

I lost my identity as a wife. You know when you have to circle the word “widow”, it’s tough, because I’m too young to be a widow.

I broke down. I felt like life couldn’t go on. But I thought: “If I can’t go on, there are four kids, who’s going to look after them?”

But how do I do it?

I remember thinking: “I’m not sure, but I know I have a God who can care for me and look after me.”

I told him: “God, You just love me as I am, and I know I’m connected to you.”

Divine appointments

God just orchestrated divine appointments, and one of them was the Grief Recovery Method.

The GRM programme is for someone who feels that their life has been disrupted. Their life is no longer the same. And they need to acknowledge that, and then find a way to recover. And when you recover, it may no longer be the same as what it used to be.

But it’s okay. It’s okay not to be okay. The GRM programme allows someone who is able to understand and walk through that journey with you. You don’t have to do it alone.

Yannie’s husband was a doting father to their four daughters.

Over time, I found that I hadn’t had the opportunity to grieve for the loss of my husband. I had been trying to focus too much on my work. To the point that my girls eventually came to me and said: “You’re not there.”

Another time a girlfriend asked me: “How can you do so much?” And I’m like: “You think I have a choice?” I felt so judged.

But eventually I was able to acknowledge the anger and feelings that I had buried toward my husband. I was finally able to say: “Hey, I’m angry at you. You left me with four kids, and you want me to do all these things?”

“How do I raise our four daughters alone?” was one of Yannie’s first thoughts at the news of her husband’s death.

So I was angry. But I also said: “You are with Jesus. And there will be a time when I will get to be there. But maybe my purpose, my time, is not now.”

So, in that sense, my loss of my husband drew me closer to God, because I know don’t have to do Life alone.

I try to impart the same learning and wisdom to my children. So they get it. I wouldn’t say all the time, because when things get difficult, they still struggle. But I say: “Let’s just pray, because I don’t have all the answers, but God does.”

A promise

So the Grief Recovery Method programme started something in me. It taught me: “Hey, you don’t have to let life losses stop you. Take an active approach and move forward. And coupled with the grace of God, all things are possible, and you can begin life again.”

“I want to carry joy and beauty home so that my children can experience the same joy and beauty that comes from God’s grace,” says Yannie.

The legacy I give my children is to tell them that God loves them very, very much – even more than Mummy could – and they are able to live the purpose that God has created for them.

Yannie started her fashion and lifestyle brand, Rose of Sharon, to “bring a community of women to a new understanding that they are already beautiful as they are”.

Because of God’s promise, He turns our ashes to joy, our mourning to beauty. And the pieces of life that are shattered, He can make it into a beautiful life once again. (Isaiah 61:3)

If you are grieving over loss and need help in your recovery, you can reach out to Yannie at or

For Yannie’s full story, click here.


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About the author

Yannie Yong

After going through several years of undealt grief, Yannie Yong finally found help and was able to rebuild her life with her daughters, through the grace of God and a community of support. She is the founder and CEO of Rose of Sharon, a ladies' lifestyle brand that empowers women to create impact and change lives.