“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
While we all try to avoid it, death is all around us. Fall is proof of that. Soon the leaves will change from the lasting greens of summer into the vibrant yellows and reds of fall and in this change, we see death. Going from life to death is part of the process of all living things.
Everything has a season. We have seasons of growth and seasons of setbacks. Seasons of laughter and seasons of tears. Seasons of joy and seasons of grief. Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes 3:2 that everything has a season, including life, when he says there is a “time to be born and a time to die.”
We have all lost someone along the way. Someone that made life beautiful. Someone who brought vibrant joy to our lives. When someone we love has died, we grieve. We grieve the time that will be no more. We grieve the love that person embodied. We grieve the loss of a part of our heart.
So, when we are touched by the death of someone we care for and grief floods our soul, what do we do?
How can we grieve well?
1. Be Patient
Grief takes time. We want the pain to go away instantly, but it won’t happen overnight. Be patient with yourself and don’t put a time limit on your grief. It’s not going to be an easy journey so don’t rush the process. Try to take one day at a time.
2. Feel Your Feelings
Don’t avoid your grief or stuff your pain. The longer we put off our feelings, the longer the healing process will take. Carl Jung puts it this way, “What you resist, persists.” So, give into your feelings and allow them to surface. Your feelings are valid and need to be embraced, not pushed away. Cry, scream, sit in silence, laugh, be angry, be sad, be numb, just make sure to take the time to feel your feelings because your feelings matter.
3. Show Yourself Compassion
Be gracious with yourself. You won’t have the motivation, energy, or joy you had before. Grief is exhausting and it takes time to find a new normal. So, make sure you take care of yourself. Eat healthy, balanced meals. Sleep 7-9 hours each night. Get outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine; move your body. Keep up your hobbies and activities. Embrace self-care. Just as you would be kind to someone else in your shoes, be kind to yourself.
4. Lean into Jesus
It’s so easy when we are grieving to pull away from Jesus when, in reality, He is who we need the most (even if we don’t feel like it). Sit in His presence. Read His Word. Listen to Christian music. Journal. Spend time in nature. Choose to intentionally lean into God. He is our Comforter and He will never leave us or forsake us. He is holding your heart and you can have hope in Him.
5. Seek Out Community
Being with other people is so necessary in times of grief. When we get together with friends and family, we have the opportunity to have people speak truth, love, and hope over us. We have the opportunity to share stories of the one who passed away and remember them well. So, go to church. Attend a Life Group. Be with others and remember, you’re not alone.
God, I’m grieving and I need You. This loss still makes my heart ache and I need You to comfort me. The pain feels so overwhelming, so please Jesus, hold my heart and remind me that I’m not alone and that, in time, this season will pass. I trust You. Amen.