Loss of either tangible or intangible things is very much part of every day life. Along with loss comes numerous conflicting feelings caused by the changes it brings into the familiar patterns of our live. Loss has a way of catching us totally off guard & putting us in a state of shock. It is said that the.path of grief usually looks like this chart below.
Our knee-jerk reaction is similar to that of walking on a tight rope walker...to extend a rope from the top of one side of the curve (Shock) to the other top of the curve (Acceptance) then quickly, quietly & skillfully tip-toeing our way across the "Grieving Valley". This tactic is swiftly attempted in efforts to avoid pain at all cost & totally skipping over the opportunity of climbing down into the valley of discomfort, grief & pain.
Who enjoys pain?
Who wants to experience grief?
Hannah, Job, David & Paul ....did not run or tip toe over their suffering.
They struggled through it
They embraced it
They verbally expressed their sadness
They named their pain specifically
They involved God in their pain
They cried out to Him
They stayed faithful to Him
They renewed their strength in Him
They reminded themselves where their help came from
They trusted that the Lord was with them
They learned because of it
Grief is not a joke! It causes pain & conflicting feelings in the innermost parts of our being, often to a depth we have never experienced before. It leaves us many times, emotionally motionless not knowing how to resolve the pain, just as it did to our forefathers. But, we, as they did, have an opportunity to embrace our valley experience, hold tight to JESUS & come out spiritually stronger.
Resolving our grief takes
time...so take the time
it takes space, so create space to process the pain
it take courage, so take a deep breath & slowly climb down the valley with your Shepherd.
Be wise with the little fortitude you may have
keep Jesus involved in each step of the process
find a support group/counselor/pastor
share with friends often
journal & let your daily feelings take shape
grieve using different creative/artful expressions (even if you aren't skilled at it).
Remember that joy WILL come again as Luke 6:21 reminds us "Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh." AND "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13
A LITTLE EXTRA
Podcasts: Practicing Lament How The Soul Grows Thru Loss
Article: Writing a Biblical Lament Books: Colors of Goodbye A Grace Disguised
Booklets to Share with a grieving friend: Journeying Through Grief Hands-On Activities Creative Ways of Processing Grief Name That Emotion The Feeling Wheel