Thoughts on Grief

Grief will touch all of us at least once in our lives. None of us handle it the same way and it can last for years. We feel deep loss for several reasons, but the main one is losing a loved one. I don’t know everything about grief, but I know a few things.

The book of Psalms says Jesus is close to the brokenhearted and that He heals them and binds their wounds. In my mind, I see Him nursing us back to health. He cries with us and gives us what we need. His own heart breaks for us, as all of us parents feel when our kids hurt. And like a parent, He knows He can’t go through this pain for us. Thinking of it this way reminds me that He sees me and doesn’t abandon me when I need Him.

When I think about the sadness over lost loved ones, so many emotions come to mind. Sometimes I feel guilt for not being with them enough or not showing outward grief as much as others do. I think I should show it more or hide it more, depending on the day. I feel anger that they are gone when they meant so much to me.

You know what? None of these feelings are wrong. Until I acknowledge them and sift through them to see what is right and what is productive, I can’t move forward. There are periods where I need anger. There really are stages of grief and denying them does me no good. Stuffing them down only makes things worse and makes me bitter.

I have had aha! moments where I literally had to say my feelings out loud to hear how ridiculous they sounded. My brain had accepted them as truth and was in the process of reconciling them and making them fit in with the rest of my thoughts. Once that starts, I have work to do to retrain my brain and convince it of the truth. The truth is that I loved someone and they are no longer here. It is not my fault or God’s fault. I don’t have to feel shame that others handle their sadness different than me. My job now is to find a new normal as I keep their memory alive.

One thing I know that happens after a period of grief is gratitude. Once we are reminded of the fragility of life, we appreciate the days we are given going forward as well as the times we had with someone we lost. We may not feel we had enough time with them, but it has to be enough.

One final fact is that God never meant for us to never stop grieving. If you are in the middle and feel it will never end, keep going. Each day brings something new and brings you closer to a whole heart. While it is true that we will always miss them, we will find joy again. Some days it will feel like we are finally better and other days we will want to curl up on the floor and never leave. We must push through those days and know there is some good ahead. God will never leave us and He will heal us in time.

We can count on it.

Linking with Holley Gerth

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12 thoughts on “Thoughts on Grief

  1. I love this. We often run from grief because it feels so uncomfortable but the truth is, we weren’t called to comfortable. When we mourn, it’s really a gift because it means we had someone in our lives who impacted us in such a way that they are missed. Not everyone gets to have that kind of love in their lives. So while the mourning is hard and we ache, the fact that we had someone at all that we mourn the loss of is such a blessing.

  2. I’m not sure how you know what I need to hear. As you know, I am grieving for the loss of my marriage. I have prayed and am working through the stages of grief. Denial- this can’t be happening, we love each other. Bargaining-I’ll chsnge everything I am to make this work. And now depression- trying to fight the bleakness. The man I have loved is still alive but I have to move on. I needed to hear that the days will get better that the pain will lessen as time passes. ❤ I needed to hear that there will be joy again. Maybe this will help me find acceptance. Thank you, friend. Love you.

    1. Oh girl, I have been and still am praying for you. Yes, one day you will feel better. I know that seems impossible right now, but you will. And I think it is usually so subtle that it kind of sneaks up on you. You will realize one day that you do still have so much. And that will give you hope. Love you too!

  3. Working through grief over a suicide with my sister. It has rocked her world. You are so right. There are stages with good happy sad guilty feelings and you must trudge thru them. I think the worst thing to do is to try to rush someone through. Almost like pulling a scab off a cut. It only reforms. It has to to heal the skin. What stretches over the skin is rough and ugly but necessary. Just like grief. Pull it off and go back to square one. Let people grieve and yourself too. Great post !

  4. Such wisdom here, especially in this: “You know what? None of these feelings are wrong. Until I acknowledge them and sift through them to see what is right and what is productive, I can’t move forward. There are periods where I need anger. There really are stages of grief and denying them does me no good. Stuffing them down only makes things worse and makes me bitter.”

    In grieving my mother’s death, God opened up Genesis to me in a new way. He showed me that naming things was taking ownership over them (just as he commanded Adam and Eve to be responsible for the animals and the first step being to name them). So, I began to name what I felt and thought and found that doing so was part of letting go. It removed the power of crippling thoughts and emotions and allowed His comfort in.

    1. Wow thank you for your comment! I love the idea of naming feelings. They will have power over us if we don’t take it first. When my Mom died, one of the hardest things for me was anger. I didn’t think I should be mad at God, but I still felt it. Once I accepted that it was OK, I could work through it.
      I am sorry about your Mom. It is such a devastating loss that affects us in every aspect. But I am always grateful for the years I had with mine. I so appreciate you coming by and leaving your wisdom here!

      1. Oh yes it is, incredibly. And the anger I recognize too…as I do the battle to accept it. And yes, I too am so so grateful for the years I was gifted. I had a wonderful Mum who poured out Christ’s love upon me till the end. I enjoyed visiting.

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