|Grieving – Some Helpful Advise
Grieving: A Painful But Necessary Process
In Matthew 5:4, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Mourning doesn’t just happen at funerals. It can happen whenever we face a loss no matter what it is. Some people don’t mourn because it’s too painful. Mourning is a process that helps us deal with our sadness. It’s healthy, even though it’s difficult.
If you’re a guy, you may be feeling pressure from others to be strong and not let your emotions show. In reality, the hurt is still there whether you face it or not. When you choose to avoid it or bury it inside, it doesn’t help. As painful as they may be, emotional wounds need to be exposed to Jesus Christ so He can heal them. He accepts us with our sadness, wants to comfort us and promises He will.
Grieving is invaluable, and it’s a skill that can be used throughout your life in many situations. If you understand how to grieve now, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary heartache down the road.
Tasks of Grief
You may have heard someone say that grief has different stages and that we have to walk through each stage to “get past the pain.” Talking about stages of grief can be helpful for understanding our reactions, as long as we don’t view those stages too rigidly. They don’t always follow a specific progression. Stages can blend. Sometimes you might skip back and forth between them. For that reason it may be more helpful to view them as four “grief tasks” to work through, rather than four consecutive stages
Task 1 — Accept the reality of the loss.
When you first hear about a loss, you may experience shock or denial. You might think, No! This couldn’t have happened; it just doesn’t make sense! It may take a few weeks for your mind to catch up with reality. Difficulty sleeping, a change in appetite or a strong desire to be with others may show up at this point in your life. Having a clear picture of what you’ve lost will help you move to the second task.
Task 2 — Work through to the pain of grief.
When the truth finally hits you, it’s not as though you’ll wake up from a dream and find everything back to normal. In fact, as time goes on, you’ll become aware of how this loss will change your life forever. Not only are you likely to feel the deep sense of hurt, but there may be strong anger toward another person, yourself or even God. These emotions can be intensified on certain dates such as your brother’s first birthday after his death, your parent’s wedding anniversary after a divorce, or the anniversary of the loss itself. Recognizing and allowing yourself to feel the pain is an honest reaction that can eventually help you to heal.
Task 3 — Accept your world with the loss.
Once you’ve faced the despair, with time and God’s help, you will increasingly be able to accept the loss and realize that life goes on. Acceptance isn’t about trying to block the loss out of your mind. Instead, it’s about realizing that the loss will change your world, and that you’re still meant to have a whole and healthy life in this new and different world. You’ll have the ability to focus on future living once you’re able to say goodbye with your heart to the things or people you’ve lost.
Task 4 — Have a place for your memories, but move on with life.
In some ways this is a continuation of Task 3. Here you are able to take specific, concrete steps to go on with your life in this new world. Memories and sadness remain, but there’s a new strength to move on.
How Can I Grieve?
OK, so you understand that dealing with your grief and pain is sometimes a long road, and that you may have to walk the same section of it several times before healing starts to happen. But that doesn’t sound very encouraging, does it? Fortunately, there are some specific things you can do while you’re walking that road. And while no single action is the key to everyone’s walk of grief, some of these suggestions may help you.
(Ed. – the full text of this article is available by clicking here). For now, these are the 7 points in summary
1. Identify what you’ve lost.
2. Touch your pain.
3. Tell your story.
4. Deal with your regrets.
5. Don’t bury your resentments.
6. Take a break.
7. Look forward.
Keep in Mind
Along the road of grief, many people fall into potholes because they can’t see clearly what’s up ahead. Remembering these few things will help you avoid getting stuck on your journey:
- No two people grieve the same way.
- Life doesn’t stop for your pain.
- Watch out for unhealthy affection.
- Old losses may still need to be mourned.
The Bottom LineNo one can make you grieve; you have to decide if you will. The questions included here can help if you don’t want to bury your emotions. Think about them with your heart. God can give you the courage to face the pain. Talk with your parents, close friends, youth leader or church leader about your grief. If you feel stuck, it may also be helpful to speak with a counselor.
Remember, grieving is never an easy process, but God is available to give you His comfort and peace. And in time, you will be able to move forward in His power.