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How To Cope With Grief and Loss

The post below is by my dear friend Kristin, who is a sister in Christ, and is also studying to become a health coach.  She felt led to write this, and knowing that some of you have spoken with me about the same subject, I thought it might be helpful to share.

 

My dear friends, today I am writing from a place of brokenness.  I have witnessed tragedy and loss all around me.  Lately, I have walked along side of friends who have lost precious loved ones.  We live in a broken world.  Grief is not a stranger to any of us and it can overwhelm us. 

Grief is our response to any loss.  It occurs with separation.  We expect to have grief accompany death, but grief can also show up with other major changes in life such as retirement, children leaving the home, or even a change in job or a move to a new home. 

Of course, sadness is the most universal symptom and crying isn’t a sign of weakness, but it is not the only way to show grief. We all are unique in how we grieve.  Grief will bring with it many emotions.  The first will be denial.  Feeling numb and finding it hard to accept what happened buffers the shock as we deal with our first wave of pain.  Anger might come next.  We may be angry with God, with doctors, or even ourselves thinking we could have done something more to prevent the situation.  We might feel guilty about being angry, but this is a natural response to the hurt we are feeling.  Fear might present itself as we become anxious in our new situation of feeling helpless and insecure which can even bring about panic attacks.  All of these emotions bring with them physical symptoms as well.  Fatigue, nausea, physical pain and insomnia are all common physical reactions to grief.

 

So how do we deal with grief in a healthy way? 

 

  • Acknowledge the pain and loss and face your feelings.  Avoid pain numbing devices such as alcohol, sugary foods or even drugs.  This process of grieving cannot be rushed!
  • Journal or get involved in a cause that brings you joy.  And seek support!  Do not isolate yourself.  Face-to-face support is vital for healing! 
  • Find comfort in routine. Pray.  Keep silence.  Attend worship services and embrace the comfort of God’s word and His promises to His children. 
  • Regular exercise such as going for a walk outside, a healthy diet full of unprocessed and organic foods that support the immune system, and stress management techniques are vital to help us move forward. 
  • Supplements that can help with tension, anxiety and depression can be considered.  St. John’s wort and 5-HTP, passion flower and melatonin for sleep might be temporarily helpful. 

 

If you are witnessing grief around you, I have found the ministry of “Just show up” to be a comfort to those going through the pain of loss.  Listen, hug and help them carry their burden.  We are called to do this.

 

Jesus told us in John 13:35 “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples”. 

 

Do you know anyone that could use your love and ministry of “just showing up” today?

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