Dealing with grief is not easy. There is no one size fits all method to use to deal with it. Grief affects each of us differently and we each deal with grief differently. No matter how grief affects us or how we deal with it, it is important not to leave God out of our lives while we go through a period of grief.
You may like to read this piece on being a friend to someone dealing with grief.
Take time to identify what you are feeling.
Sometimes when we are grieving, we keep going about our lives, trying to live as we did before we were grieving, trying to push past or ignore our grief. It is important to allow ourselves to truly feel what we are feeling. We may feel sadness, anger, frustration, despair, or emptiness. We may even feel emotions we did not expect to feel, like relief or guilt.
Getting in touch with our feelings is not always easy. We may feel sadness and despair one moment, then anger, confusion, or relief the next. It may take some time for us to experience and identify the different emotions we have swirling around inside of us.
Sometimes we may even want to deny our feelings, especially if we think of them as negative, like anger. Yet, the feeling of anger may be present as part of our grief.
It is important to remember that our feelings are our feelings. They can be a kind of knee jerk reaction to our situation or experience.
When we take them to God and ask for His help in identifying and understanding our feelings, we can start to heal.
Give yourself time to grieve.
It is important to give ourselves time to grieve. We need time to let the reality of what has occurred sink into our minds and hearts. It is important to allow ourselves time to cry, to be sad and melancholy, and to feel the variety of feelings that surface as we are grieving.
A counselor or a support group may be helpful to aid in our process of understanding and dealing with our feelings. Reaching out for the help we need can aid in our healing process.
When we don’t take the time to grieve, our feelings can become stuck inside of us. Eventually, they can surface when we least expect them to. We are worse off when this happens.
We can ask God to share our grief with us. He wants for us to share with Him. He can help us.
Grief may stay a while.
It is good to acknowledge that we may not move past our grief quickly. After one or two months go by, we may still feel that grief is part of our daily lives. We wonder when this grief will leave us. Some friends may tell us that we should be past our grief by now. We may even wonder if there is something wrong with us that grief is still present in our daily lives.
It can be frustrating to still feel grief when we think it would have eased by now. It can also be puzzling to not feel as much grief as we think we should. These situations can lead us to be down on ourselves and think that there is something wrong with us. We should not be down on ourselves.
Grief does not have the same timetable for everyone; we each are different. The amount of time we take and the way that we go through the stages of grief is different for each of us.
Remember that Jesus grieved for Lazarus. We can talk with Him about our grief. He will understand and help us.
We may feel awkward as our grief eases.
There will not likely be one day when we will say, “I am past my grief.” One day we may realize our grief has lifted some, that life doesn’t seem quite so hard. We may realize today that we have smiled more than yesterday, or be surprised to hear ourselves laugh.
It can be a strange time, coming out of our grief. We may feel guilty for smiling, for laughing, for eating our favorite dessert and enjoying it. “How can I enjoy life,” we may ask ourselves, “when my life will never be the same?”
It can be challenging to enjoy life and not feel guilty about doing so, especially after someone we love had died. It may be helpful to remember how much our loved ones love us, how much God loves us, and how much they both want for us to be happy and to fulfill our purpose in life.
God calls each of us home to Heaven at different times. We are still here on earth because our work is not done. With God’s help, we can work to move past any feelings of guilt that we may have and focus on living our best life. We honor God and our loved ones when we do this. It may not be easy at first, and it may feel strange to do, but we can do it.
Grief may come and go.
When the greater part of grief has passed, we may experience times when it suddenly reappears. We may be completely blindsided by this and feel despair, wondering why our grief has returned.
Grief can come back into our lives at different moments. When we remember special memories or when certain significant dates come around during the year, grief is more likely to return.
Sometimes grief will hit us suddenly and linger for a short time, like the explosion of a firecracker in the sky that has an initial, intense burst and then fades. Other times grief may come on gradually and stay a while, like the water in a stream slowly swelling after a rainstorm and then gradually being absorbed into the ground once again.
It is not uncommon for grief to resurface unexpectedly. When it does, we need to be patient with ourselves as we process through it and remember that it will ease with time.
Turn to God, who loves us so, for comfort and for hope. He is our Consoler who will bring us peace.
God is always with us.
God is ALWAYS with us. Sometimes He carries us, cradling us in His arms while He loves us through our grief. He showers us with His love and care, never abandoning us. We may not always feel His presence, but from our faith, we know He is always with us. We can trust and hope in Him.
God will comfort and help us as we deal with our grief.
Take one day at a time.
We are called to live today, not yesterday, not tomorrow. For now, we can start by taking one day at a time. Gradually, we will start looking at tomorrow, then next week, and we will continue moving forward in our lives again. We need to be patient with ourselves. With time, it will get easier. God will help us to get through this challenging time.
Key points to remember about dealing with grief:
- Take time to identify what you are feeling.
- Give yourself time to grieve.
- Grief may stay a while.
- We may feel awkward as our grief eases.
- Grief may come and go.
- God is always with us.
- Take one day at a time.