“The journey of grief is long and tiresome.” This was spoken by Nancy Guthrie in one of our Griefshare videos we watched. And it is true. Anyone who thinks you can just snap out of it or power through is not being honest. Or they are simply postponing the inevitable. If you loved someone in life you will mourn them in death.
One of the problems we all face in our individual grief journeys is feeling like it is too hard, or too painful, or it seems to be taking too long to get back to normal. Let me remind you that the grief journey is not about getting back to normal. That normal is dead and gone. The goal is to find your new life and new normal and learn how to thrive where you are, not where you used to be.
Grief takes time. But there are things that we can do to help us deal with the pain and to help expedite our process through the grief. These are things that we can do to help us in the immediate aftermath of loss and will continue to help us as we transition into joy.
One simple thing that we all can do is take care of ourselves. Grief is an emotional and mental trial. It is also a physical drain. Our bodies take an enormous toll. One way to think about what to do is in the word DEER. Drink plenty of healthy fluids. Eat. Exercise. And Rest. Sleep, according to some experts, is more important to our overall health and well-being than diet and exercise combined. If you need help in any of these areas contact your doctor or a clinic and get the help you need.
Some things surrounding the death of the person or life events connected with their death will affect your grieving. How and when they died. Life events relating to that person. Regrets over things said or issues left unresolved. This is where some people find relief in writing a Grief Letter. Or they put their feelings in a journal where their words will not hurt anyone.
One thing is for sure. Any attempt to avoid the pain or to mask the pain will only make the pain worse and prolong the time it takes to heal. Nothing now can make you sad; you are already sad. And you must hurt before you can heal. You will not die, and in time you will feel better. This includes going through the dead person’s belongings and personal effects. You must trust yourself to do this when the time is right. You set the time. You set the circumstances. You set the guidelines. And you control what is done with their stuff.
One final thought today. You must in some way find help and relief in God. God may help you in unexpected ways. But there is strength and hope and comfort in God that is found nowhere else. This will be a private place where you meet with Jesus alone. It probably will not happen in church. Through these experiences you will begin to develop an attitude of trust. Trust in God, and trust in yourself.
Isaiah 42:3 “A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoking flax He will not quench.”
James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…”