Grief is no respecter of persons. It is an experience we don’t fully understand until we walk through it ourselves. Grief is the natural emotional response resulting from a significant loss - especially the death of a love one.
Everyone deals with grief differently. People cry, laugh, busy themselves with work, feel numb, angry or feel depressed. There is no ‘right’ way to express grief and every loss will be different. Sometimes grief is so painful it is difficult to face or to make any sense of it.
There is no specific time limit where grief is over or that you may begin to feel better or normal life resumes. At some point you come to accept the reality of the loss and begin living life with the loss. This doesn’t mean that you miss your loved one any less or that you don’t feel pain at their memory - you’ve just learned how to cope.
Grief doesn’t connect you to the lost loved one - your love does. Grief is not about forgetting it is about memories.
So here are a few things that might help you during these difficult times.
Memories... Having a photo of your loved one and lighting a candle in their memory can help.
Making a memory box putting photos, poems, prayers, special things that remind you of your loved one can be helpful.
Remember anniversaries, birthdays and those special moments like Christmas or family times together can be part of the healing process where you can share memories, laughter and tears.
The Weeping Edge
Is the weeping edge of emotion,
The over-filled vessel ready to spill,
The flooding river waiting to burst.
In time it recedes,
But you can never be sure it won't rise again.
(David M Owen)
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
God is our refuge and strength,
An ever present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Though the earth give way
And the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
Though its waters roar and foam And the mountains quake with their surging.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters;
He restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil; For you are with me;
Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me,
All the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
My whole life long.
...and of course recognising sometimes memories are not always good or helpful, and in these instances you may find talking to someone or seeking out counselling may be very therapeutic and healing.
If you would like to talk to a member of our clergy, please click here.