Dealing With Grief

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Today marks the last installment of the My Story Monday.  I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to learn a little bit more about why I write the things on here that I do.  If you haven’t read some of the posts, you can go here to read them.

I came to the realization a few weeks ago as I was headed over to the hospital to visit with a friend whose husband was dying that I had no idea what to say.  I had no idea what to do.  I had no idea how to handle my own grief in my past, so how in the world could I bring comfort of any sort to someone who was starting their own journey dealing with this kind of pain?

If you go to the Bible as your source on how to deal with grief, you see that the grieving process was a very public thing.  They tore their clothing in public.  They wept.  There were all kinds of outward signs that let people know that you were grieving something.

Today we’re encouraged to deal with it privately and get back to normal.  We take a couple days off work.  We spend some time with family, and then it’s business as usual.  When people ask how we are, we say fine or that we’re hanging in there.  There are only a few people I know that when you ask them how they’re doing, they actually tell me.  And there are only a few people I’m actually that honest with, as well.

And then you get to the flip side where when I ask and someone starts to tell me how they’re not okay that I start regretting my decision to ask them the initial question.  Seriously.  How could I regret asking someone how they are?  How could I regret pouring time into someone?  But there are times that I do, if I’m being honest here.

What ultimately started my healing process is just opening up to someone and letting them know I was still having a hard time deal with things.  My friends and family were there.  They encouraged.  They picked me up when I was down and held me up when I was falling.  Positive support in your life is one of the most important things you can surround yourself.  If you’re in the middle of dealing with something and don’t have that kind of support, find someone.  Call a counselor. Find someone to talk to.

Please don’t think that I’m leaving God out of the whole grieving process.  Ultimately God is the only thing that is going to bring us through.  Ask Him the hard questions.  He’ll help you try to understand.  But I also believe that God has surrounded us with good people in our lives to help carry us through.  and sometimes we’re going to say the wrong things.  And sometimes we’re going to do everything right.  But with His help it’s all going to be okay.

And what I learned the other night as I was walking out of the hospital ICU waiting room is that it’s not what you say.  It’s how you listen.  It’s not what you do.  It’s how you love.

So when you get the chance, listen well, my friends.  And always, always choose to love.

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