Coping With Grief
The Reality of Grief
The band R.E.M. was right, “Everybody hurts.” Coping with grief is one of the most difficult things any of us will ever have to endure. Every human who has every lived has dealt with loss in one way or another. Loss is a natural part of life. But, everyone deal with loss differently. We all cope our grief in different ways.
Jesus himself had to deal with grief. When his friend, Lazarus, died, Jesus cried. He was stricken with sadness and he did the only thing he felt was right to do. When Jesus’ own cousin, John the Baptist, was killed at the bequest of a teenage girl, he decided to board a fishing boat, head out to sea alone, and be by himself. Everyone deals with loss.
Coping with Grief
People deal with the pain of loss in many different ways. Some ways are healthy, while others ways are hurtful. Unhealthy ways of dealing with grief involve anything that keeps a person from avoiding reality. Of course, there are times when it is important to get away from our pain, but long-term avoidance is unhealthy. Although it’s natural to want to avoid pain, it won’t help in our healing long-term. It’s kind of like getting a small splinter in our finger. But, instead of taking the little piece of wood out, we ignore it, covering it with a bandage. This temporary cover protects us from having to think about the splinter. But, eventually that small wooden intruder will become infected and begin infecting the whole body. Whether dealing with a splinter, or the greatest loss we can imagine, it’s important to face our loss and begin coping with grief.
We know that avoidance is unhealthy. But, how should we respond to loss? The good news is there are many tools we can employ to respond to grief in a healthy way.
Grief Coping Tools
There are many healthy ways to deal with grief and everyone’s journey is different. If you or someone you know is struggling with sadness, it’s important to understand that everyone’s process will look different. The important part is to continue taking steps forward in your personal process.
Some are helped by being active. This can include working on a car, cleaning, or in the garden. Activity is one way people process grief. Others, need significant time alone. Still, others may need space to journal or time with friends. Whether you process through activity or through alone time, it’s important to continue taking care of yourself. Take time to eat, rest, exercise, and sleep. A healthy mind and body will better process grief.
Regardless of how you process loss, it’s important to know that you’re not alone in your grief. Psalms 34:18, the Bible tells us that, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.” It also says in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those that mourn, for they will be comforted.” If you are coping with grief, know that God is near you. You may not feel it, but He is.
You should also know you don’t need to walk this road alone. We may feel like we want to be alone, but it can be helpful to be around people who are struggling through the same issues we are. Here at Vienna Presbyterian Church, we have grief support groups. Support groups are especially helpful in processing and healing from significant loss.
Here to Help
If you are suffering with loss in silence, Vienna Presbyterian Church is here to help. If you feel stuck, take the first step forward by giving us a call today. Our number is: 703.938.9050. If you might be interested in speaking with someone about our Stephen Ministry, which works to help those who are hurting, please call the number above and ask to speak with someone in the Stephen Ministry.
We care about you and your healing process. We want to do anything we can to help you take positive steps forward.
June 27, 2018