Of a Serious Nature
I am deviating from my usual genre of writing because one of my readers commented recently on “The Character of Nature”, an article I wrote concerning the extremes of weather activity. That comment also suggested that I share more of my personal perspectives on grief as well as the weather.
The weather, well, this is in the authority of God and I have not yet acquired nor developed the skills to assimilate the various instabilities in weather related disasters. I can only offer my condolences and support to the victims of these calamities, along with spiritual encouragement.
Sometimes we humans wonder if God causes these disasters. It seems like God isn’t on our side, however, we still need to realize that He can be trusted. Why, because He has injected Himself into our lives by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to intercede on our behalf. This is the love of God most clearly. Martin Luther once said, “When you look around and wonder whether God cares, you must always hurry to the cross and you must see Him there’.” After we see the response from people following a natural disaster, we see a genuine and heartfelt effort to help someone in distress. This is offered freely and is a trait given to mankind by God, whether one chooses to believe it or not.“When we hear about a natural disaster we should grieve with those who grieve. And we should ask what we can do to alleviate their suffering.” http://www.Billygraham.org
As for as my thoughts on grief, well, there are literally hundreds of books and writings dealing with grief. I am not an authority on the subject and this does not in any way represent how one should or should not grieve. This is only my perspective on the subject.
Just like everyone else, I have experienced loss. It is true that grief is unpredictable and inevitable, just like the weather, as the reader commented. However, I learned a long time ago that giving in to the very feelings of grief is understandable. It is an emotion, yet we cannot allow emotions to consistently dictate the way we live our lives. I believe we should live through the experience, not in the experience. There are lessons to be learned through these encounters. However, I believe at some point one must face reality. There is no time frame for overcoming grief. I cannot tell you how you should grieve over the nature of your loss. It is very personal. And personal stories of grief are just that, personal, to be shared only when you feel the time is right. My suggestion would be to encompass the love of God in dealing with grief. David wrote in Psalm 119:50, “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life”.
Thanks to Rainee C., for commenting and allowing me an opportunity to expound on this subject. It was indeed a mind opening topic. However, do not allow the seriousness of this article to keep you from having a wonderful day.
Smile, be upbeat and check your humorous character.
Short but sweet and very much to the point.
No one can explain how to handle grief. We can try and guide someone to seek it from Our Lord God.
Do we ever get over grief ? I can honestly say as a Mother who lost a Son through suicide, no. Through prayers, interventions and finding happiness , we can soften the pain.
Since we continue to live our lives, as our loved ones are gone, we ask ourselves over and over again, “What did I do wrong, why didn’t I have a clue and see this coming?” It affects each family member differently.
This isn’t making light of death by natural causes, murder or worldwide disasters , by any means. Grief is saddness, depression, unrest. It is up to each of us to find the “Peace of All Understanding”.
Good perspective on grief, referencing faith and specific quotes that helped you. I agree…we should “live THROUGH the experience, (rather) than live IN the experience”.
I don’t think anyone really wants to live IN the pitch black abyss of grief and stay there. But humans are imperfect creatures, each with very different circumstances, emotional intelligence, and different ways of handling and regulating those emotions and circumstances. In our imperfect human weakness, we can get trapped in sorrow. Even people with strong faith have described being unable to “pray it away” or pray away the hollowness of the heart-wrenching pain. In the midst of being vulnerable and human, the griever can feel weak for not being a better, stronger, different, more Christian, or whatever. It’s a cycle which can contribute to numbing, denying, repressing, and possibly any number of coping mechanisms which may or may not be healthy. It all depends on the person’s ability to cope, the circumstances involved, etc. For a time, the griever is at his most vulnerable state of mind; feels hopeless, heartbroken, and unable to see clearly because the pain unbearable. It’s been said that people can actually die of a broken heart, (unknowingly placing intense stress on the heart muscle which, coupled with depression eventually breaks down the body). Grief has many complicated layers which can either be expressed all at once, or the feelings can go dormant for years and be triggered later by something. Grief can show up and manifest itself as body aches and pains. Realizing you’ve lost someone you love, (especially if it was sudden or tragic), can throw the griever into a confusing whirlwind which makes it difficult to function for awhile.
Also grief can show up and unknowingly not be about the original loss or death for the griever, but rather some earlier grief never realized or expressed fully. “Unexpressed” grief can manifest itself in unexpected ways. It can show up in one’s physical or emotional body as accumulated pain, (from being repressed, internalized, or denied all together.) Our eociety hasn’t quite figured out how to deal with grief yet. Companies allow a person maybe 1 week off work for a significant death, to mourn, make arrangements, and bury their loved-one. Some companies may allow 2 weeks off for tenured employees, or if the employee uses vacation time), but usually it’s not long enough to move through it.
Our system is geared towards quick fixing everything like its a Drive Through window at a fast food restaurant. “Here you go Mr. Griever, here’s your ‘Get over it Special’ with a side of hurry up fries and a huge dollop of ‘Move-n-on slaw and Get back to work’ pie. It’s not geared towards helping people manage their newfound reality, work through their pain, traverse the cycles and phases (denial, sadness, bargaining, anger, acceptance), or develop a recovery plan for it.
Just an observation.