As long as we are human, and as long as we remain in this world, we would deal with Grief and loss and other emotions.
We would have to deal with grieve, loss, joy, love and a lot of other emotions. The moment we refuse to agree to this truth, we begin to lie to ourselves.
Grief and loss like every other human emotion stem out of an occurrence, either internal or external. Without understanding what grief and loss are, it might be difficult to explore how to deal with grief and loss.
Grief is a strong emotion. Sometimes it’s overwhelming for most people. Regardless of whether their sadness stems from the loss of a loved one or from a terminal diagnosis they or someone they love have received, grief is a natural reaction to loss. Many times when we refer to grief and loss; we refer to the loss of a loved one.
Deal with Grief and loss: The perspective of the Bible
The book of Ecclesiastes 3:2, 4 reveals a profound revelation on every human’s time on earth.
Verse 2 says “There is a time to be born and a time to die.”
This verse has been overstretched, but the truth remains. In life, a man is born at a particular time and dies at another. King Solomon helps to point light on the fact that death is an inevitable reality.
Verse 4 “there is a time to cry and a time to laugh. There is a time to be sad and a time to dance.”
In the time table of life, there is a time for tears; there is a time when we are to be sad. The truths that can be drawn from the two verses above, is that grief is inevitable. The Bible recognizes this inevitability and advises people to grieve.
Understanding this truth brings a level of clarity to the mind. Knowing that no matter how long or how short a person lives, death for every person is inevitable. How then should the believer handle the death? How should the believer grieve the loss of a dear person?
Dealing with Grief and loss
There are a lot of scriptures that help the believer in times of grief and loss. These verses give perspective to death, give promises to the believer, and encourage the believer on how to handle death. But one profound verse that stands out is an action taken by Jesus, John 11:35 states that even Jesus wept.
Jesus, the son of God, the express image of God, wept. Why did he weep? Jesus wept because of the death of Lazarus. It is easy then to infer that Jesus’s expression of grief was through tears.
Dealing with grief takes different forms for different people, and at different stages of receiving the sad news, the level of grief changes. This is applicable even when you are sure of the salvation of the person who died. Feeling loss and grief is normal, and silence or bottling up your feelings is not the right way to go about it.
4 steps to help in dealing with grief and loss.
1. Accepting that you would grieve.
Many times, many believers in a bid to appear to have faith deny themselves the opportunity and chance to grieve over their loss.
Acknowledging that as a Christian you would still grieve over loss is the very first step to handling grief. Jesus wept; he knew that the death of Lazarus was something that affected him. It was a real loss, and in acknowledging this loss, he wept.
Once a person is able to accept the inevitability of grieving over a loss, he would be not be hindered by himself from expressing such grief in whatever means he would end up using.
The major danger of not accepting the truth of grieving is a form of self-delusion that would be psychologically harmful to the person in time. Bottling up your feelings would only lead to them exploding at the wrong time.
2. Accepting that pain would come along with grief and loss.
Once you are able to accept the fact that a believer is not immune from grief, you also have to accept that grieving comes with pain. Many times, the pain that comes with the loss of a loved one is usually overwhelming, and not accepting this would not be different from not accepting the fact that the person is dead.
The space a person filled in life becomes more obvious in death. The pain of that emptiness sometimes becomes quite difficult to bear. There are various outlets that are used to express this pain and emptiness. Jesus wept in response to his loss. There are other means of expressing this pain, but the most expressive is through tears. There is no need to present you as immune to tears when indeed it is the needed course of action.
Alongside the pain, a host of other feelings, such as anger, sadness, and depending on the gravity of the loss, depression might set in. Accepting all this conflict of feelings would set in, takes you one more step further in handling grief and loss.
3. Holding on to the word of God.
When Jesus was tempted after the forty days and nights of fasting, he gave a profound response to the very first temptation. Man shall not leave by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
This is not only applicable in times of temptation, but also in times of grief. The word of God would always offer comfort and reassurance to the weary soul of man. (John 14:27) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. This verse is a promise, even when things seem out of control and the heart seems broken, His peace would not depart.
Alongside the word, prayer is equally important, praying for comfort in strength in times of grief and loss is very important. The Holy Spirit is also a comforter from God. Holding on to bible truths would help to go through the grieving process much easier.
4. Opening up to Friends and Family.
No man is an island unto himself. Having the right set of friends around helps to make grieving a little bit more easily. The right friends would offer more than words; they would offer companionship and strength.
Recognizing that you still have friends around also helps to overcome grief. True friends that are believers still offer you a chance at life even during periods of grief and loss, they would pray with and for you, they would be there at your deep points and would be there to raise your spirits.
Handling grief and loss are not easy. It is not like travelling down a smooth or predictable path, a lot of emotions are involved, as a result, there would be twists and uncertainties. As Christians, we should still be of good courage, for Christ has overcome the world. When we grieve, we should understand that our grieving would not last the rest of our lives.
God doesn’t want us to let our grief and loss lead us into a path that would harm us, we are to go through grief and come out stronger, and this is because unlike our limited knowledge, God has thoughts of good for us.
How do you deal with grief and loss? Share your experience with us.