As you read this today I am in North Carolina, doing a taped interview for GriefShare. From their website: "GriefShare seminars and support groups are led by people who understand what you are going through and want to help. You’ll gain access to valuable GriefShare resources to help you recover from your loss and look forward to rebuilding your life."
"There are thousands of GriefShare grief recovery support groups meeting throughout the US, Canada and in over 10 other countries."
Grief is something that we all have had to face, from the smallest child who loses a grandparent to the adult whose elderly parent dies and everything in between.
I recall with amazing clarity my own journey of grief when my beloved mom left this earth for eternity just 4 years ago. A counselor friend of mine recently blogged about the beginnings of his own journey of grief as his mom just went home to Jesus last week. For some of you reading this today, the pain of loss is incredibly fresh and you are still dazed and numb at what all of this means. In the midst of these days there will be many tears and times of deep sorrow and maybe even despair.
How you and other family members show grief will be different from one another. Extroverted people will have no trouble crying publicly, while the more reserved person will do their hardest grieving in private.
As you grieve the loss of your loved one, remember there are no linear stages of grief. You just can't hurry it along! You will dip in and out of various pools of grief for quite some time- experiencing periods where you are humming along just fine until something sparks a memory that refreshes the loss. I promise, as the weeks roll by you will adjust to the new normal.
In the present, as you grieve I want to encourage you to speak freely of your loved one. There is a tendency to avoid talking about them so as not to inflict more pain on others who are hurting deeply with loss. Rather than hiding the light of their life under a bushel, talk about the impact they have made in your family. Speak of common experiences you had, fun times, their favorite food, places they went and loved. It is important for the children to hear these things too!
Most importantly, talk about their spiritual life and the impact they made on you - either positive or negative. I am not naive, and I know many families have unregenerate loved ones or people who are just plain difficult to be around. Make no mistake...they also have a spiritual impact on you even if it is only to cause you to think of how you want to be better or different.
I may revisit this topic again after I mull some more thoughts around... These are just a few of them I have early this morning as I prepare to head to the studio for taping. I would certainly appreciate your prayers today for this entire adventure! My desire is to honor and glorify the Lord as I seek to help hurting souls.