This has been quite a journey for each of us. 2020 will be a milestone year. We have never encountered all the different events happening at one time in our lifetime. Every day I am thankful that we serve a God who gives us strength for each day.
Recently, in conversations I have had with some WIM friends, they asked me about handling grief and if I would share on how to handle grief. I am not an expert, but I will share some things I have learned through my experiences.
Grief is a process. It is taking the time to put the broken pieces of your heart back together. We grieve through many different losses: jobs, relocation, divorce, death of a loved one, empty nest, separation, loss of friendship, an unfulfilled expectation, people leaving your church, and so many other things we could list. The bottom line is these things hurt and they affect us emotionally.
Grief affects our emotions. When I attended a grief class after the death of my father, I realized everyone grieves differently, but we all deal with similar emotions. You must give yourself permission to grieve. It takes time. You don’t get over loss in a day. Don’t be afraid to seek out a good counselor, or grief class to help you.
The book that helped me was written by the lady whose grief class I attended: How to say Goodbye, working through personal grief, by Joanne Petrie and Dr. Ronald G Petrie. As leaders sometimes we think we need to have it all together and admitting we are hurting or struggling is weakness. This is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome, but in order to heal, we must be true to ourselves.
Grief is a circle of emotions: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Not necessarily in that order but usually starts and ends the same. There are many books out on these subjects. Contact our Pastoral Care leader, Pastor Larry Steller, for help in these areas.
Here are some helpful actions:
Hopefully, this is helpful – for no matter what you are experiencing or walking through, He is with you.