Today at Griefshare our lesson was on grief and how it affects our relationships with other people. We are by nature social creatures. We live among people. We need other people in our lives. But grieving the death of our loved ones can change those relationships. Why is that so? Because at some fundamental level grieving changes us.
We know that everyone grieves differently. Every person has a unique grief pathway to follow. But every person who knew and loved that person who died will grieve that loss. Loss by nature produces loneliness. For the grieving person that loneliness is intense. It is an emotion as real and as legitimate as any emotion you can experience. People in mourning often feel like no one understands them or what they are going through. This is because most people do not understand us. This can cause isolation as well as loneliness.
Some things we need to address are both positive and negative. Things to do and things not to do. Don’t isolate yourself unless it is for a time of being alone with God and with your grief. Do not use your raw emotions as an excuse to be rude, even when people are rude or thoughtless to you. Jealousy is a natural response toward others who still have their spouse or child or parent. Jealousy will only hurt you and prolong your grief.
Like I said before, grieving changes us. It will change friendships. People you thought were your friends will slip away and new friends will appear to help you. People who knew you as a couple cannot accept you as a single. People are anxious for you to get back to normal. That person they yearn for you to be is gone forever. God will bring people to you who will accept you as you are, not caring who you were.
The grieving person must create boundaries to let people know what works with you and what hurts you. Grieving people will be offended by well-meaning people who insist that they have the “truth” that will set you free. Even when they give you a verbal slap in the face, be merciful to them.
Just because a grieving person seems to be doing better, looks can be deceiving. They need your prayers, your time, your love. God will do the rest.