One of life’s most difficult experiences is losing a loved one. Grief is a natural process which would be somewhat easier if it were linear. It would be great if grief fit neatly into a box, but unwieldy and extreme feelings sneakily emerge all through the grieving process. Whatever your loss, it is personal to you. Grieving is a highly individualized experience that cannot be categorized, hurried or controlled.
Grief is a Journey.
Grief is often a lonely experience - and it takes time. There is no expiration date for grief. It’s easy to fall into the isolation trap, so it's helpful to build a support system so you can find encouragement and help to work through your grief. You will find that you are not alone, that others who are ahead of you can support you, and that you can often inspire someone else as you share your story. You will discover strength in courageous communication and a like-minded communitv. Scripture tells us that God “...heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." (Psalm 147:3) As you participate, you may discover your breath deepening and joy in the midst of your tears.
Take Action: Join a grief support group and find support for your journey.
Grief is Painful.
Jesus said, "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Jesus can handle your questions, your strong emotions, and your tears. He understands your heartbreak and you can find peace in knowing He hears you and can handle the pain. When you pray and give your burdens to Jesus, you will experience a soul-shifting peace in hope.
Take Action: Journal your prayers to God as a way to work through the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing each day.
Grief is an Opportunity.
Grief is purposed. Though all you may be able to see today is the darkness, God can bring light into your circumstances and, one day, use you to bring His light to others. There will be days when you feel more hope, peace, gratitude, and contentment. And it is possible to feel both joy and grief at the same time. That doesn't mean that you no longer feel the depths of your loss, it just means that God is bringing healing to your heart. "Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seeds to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” (Psalms 126:5-6)
Take Action: Find something each day for which you can be thankful.