I haven’t come your way in a while; after my two week break, the last three weeks were difficult to post due to a technical glitch with the site which has been resolved.
I hope you are enjoying November thus far? About some weeks ago, it was my father’s commemoration, which really got me thinking. It led me to write today’s topic which might be a bit morbid for some, but still needs to be addressed.
I am talking about grief. What is it? Allow me the liberty of quoting Webster’s 1828 dictionary on this one:
GRIEF ,noun [Latin gravis.]
1. The pain of mind produced by loss, misfortune, injury or evils of any kind; sorrow; regret. We experience grief when we lose a friend, when we incur loss, when we consider ourselves injured, and by sympathy, we feel grief at the misfortunes of others.
2. The pain of mind occasioned by our own misconduct; sorrow or regret that we have done wrong; pain accompanying repentance. We feel grief when we have offended or injured a friend, and the consciousness of having offended the Supreme Being, fills the penitent heart with the most poignant grief
3. Cause of sorrow; that which afflicts.
I want to focus on the first definition as pertaining to loosing a loved one. I think we all have experienced that. Some are more personal like a spouse, child, sibling or parents…
It is a very tough situation one can find him or herself in. The toughest part about grief is almost 90 to 95% of the time, it comes unexpected which can be tasking and very weary to your soul. Who wakes up expecting the news of a dead loved one?!
No matter how much pain and emotional torture you are in, a time comes you will have to give yourself the gift of closure which can bring inner healing. Recovering from grief is like a scar from an injury- the scar will bring painful memories, but the hurt attached will be gone, or in this case, minimized. Because with the death of a loved one, that feeling is never gone, but the pain can be minimized anytime there is a memoriam.
My heart really goes out to anybody at this present moment experiencing some kind of pain due to the loss of a dear one. I pray for you that the sweet memories of that person can light some warm flames in your heart during this time.
For some that are still reeling after years of this, my heart also goes out to you. You are suffering and I totally get it. I am praying for you that you will have closure at a point and experience inner healing. How tough it is?! It is an upward hill to climb, but it is possible.
When grieving, allow yourself to go through the process- don’t rush it and don’t suppress your emotions either. It is okay to mourn and not be the strongest person you are known to be. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and don’t stop the comfort you will receive from a support system of some family members and some friends. Trust me! It won’t come always, so take it when given.
However, if you aren’t feeling better over time, or your grief is getting worse, it maybe a sign that your grief has developed into a more serious problem which can be a major depression or what therapists term as “complicated grief”. Please speak to a counselor and seek help if you are at this stage. The implications can be far reaching, negatively speaking and let me outline a few.
1. You become bitter
“But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara [bitter], for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.” Ruth 1:20
If you look at this story in the Bible, it was about a widow who was also grieving the loss of her two sons. Her emotions got the better of her, that she admitted she was bitter. Becoming bitter and living bitterly is a very dangerous way to live. You develop a critical attitude and will hate everybody that comes your way. If that is not enough, you will become pessimistic of the future. Bitterness also makes you lonely. Nobody wants to hang out with a bitter person.
2. Grief makes you stand still
The harsh reality of time is it keeps on ticking regardless. Time is not a respecter of anything including emotions. Time won’t stop for you because you are sad. It reminds me of one my favorite story books as a child, The Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. One of the popular characters in the story was Miss Havisham, a reclusive wealthy spinster who wore her wedding dress for the rest of her life because she was jilted at the altar. She stopped living and time passed her by. Never went out, so her long life away from the sunlight aged her. She had the clocks in her house stopped at twenty minutes to nine. Yes, the clocks in her house had stopped, but life’s clock was still ticking. There are many “Miss Havishams” today who have stopped living. It is a sad reality.
3. Grief kills!
According to this article, people who are not recovering are more prone to cardiovascular illnesses and deaths. During that state, your health doesn’t matter to you but playing along to the tune of your emotion which can be deadly. Emotion is a good thing to have, but when it starts governing your life, you are just an accident away from happening.
Please, if you know someone grieving, put a loving arm around the person and comfort that person with a word of hope and prayer.
God bless all those who survived a loss. You are true heroes in my book. You are limping but walking. You are scarred, but have learned to live with it.
Father, I pray your peace on all who are mourning presently. Show yourself strong to them like you did to me personally. Let them be assured of your love, your warmth and embrace. I have experienced that and pray that may be their story too. Amen
Have a blessed week and thanks for reading.