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Filoiann Wiedenhoff
 You're here » Christian Columns Index » Filoiann Wiedenhoff » Dealing with Grief and Loss
Dealing with Grief and Loss
Allow Yourself to Grieve
by Filoiann Wiedenhoff
March 31, 2008
Category: Christian Living
THERE IS A great confusion about what is considered grief and loss these days. Unfortunately the miss-understanding of grief and loss leaves people feeling depressed, anxiety filled and alone and they don't understand what's happening to them.

I remember when I lost my father six years ago, a month later I thought something was wrong with me because I couldn't think straight, my thoughts were all jumbled and didn't know what was going on. A friend of mine who also counsels explained to me that it was part of the grieving process and I was comforted to know I wasn't losing my mind, at least not yet

Hopefully this article will help give you more insight to this very common issue. Experiencing grief and loss can cover a gamut of situations such as; loss of a loved one, loss of a family pet, loss of a job, loss of a friendship, loss of a marriage through divorce, loss of a limb or health problems or illnesses, loss of trust in your spouse through infidelity or feelings of betrayal.

As a society I don't believe we realize how common experiencing grief and loss is and that it happens more often than people understand. I put together some basics on how to deal with grief and loss practically.

Here they are as follows:

1. Sit at the Lords feet: As a Christian, we need to keep in mind that apart from Him we can do nothing. God is our physician, our healer, our comforter, our provider and He is faithful. Stay near to God and allow Him to minister to you and comfort you through his Word, His love, His Spirit and His people.

2. Talk to someone: As I said earlier, talking it out sometimes is the best medicine. It helps you to get out what you are feeling inside. It helps your mind to process what happened or what you are feeling and it is also a form of release for your feelings and emotions. Talking about your situation or your feelings will help you to heal healthier and in most cases quicker.

3. Allow yourself to grieve: Don't try to shut out the grief, but allow yourself permission to grieve and remember that it is not only okay but necessary for healing to take place. Shutting it off or out only hinders the process and can cause internal problems physically and spiritually if left not dealt with.

4. Don't fight the process: Look online for the list of the grieving process and allow yourself to go through each process. Educate yourself. Fighting it or trying to "make" yourself okay doesn't help you but hurts you in the end and can also prolong the healing. Your body goes through this process for a reason and you need to work through it.

5. Don't rush it: Trying to rush the grieving process doesn't work so don't rush yourself or give yourself a day and time for it to be over. It takes time to heal so allow yourself that time. Also the other extreme is not healthy, when you take too long and can't let go. If you think you are taking too long or trying to rush it, seek pastoral or professional counsel about where you are mentally, physically and spiritually and be accountable with them on your progress.

6. Join a grief support group: There are now many grief classes and support groups county wide. I know people who have gone through the support groups and classes personally and they said they loved the support and the encouragement. You can meet others who are going through similar situations as you and you also have the opportunity to encourage someone else. I highly recommend it!
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7. Get time out: Get out of the house when you can and visit a friend or family member, take a night out and walk, go for a drive and don't isolate yourself. Getting out with people can also take your mind off of your situation for a time and give you a break; it also can help prevent isolation and deep depression.

8. Be accountable: Ask a friend or family member to be accountable with you to check on you as you are going through the grief process. Have them call you every so often just to see how you are doing and call them whenever you really need someone to talk to or are going through a rough day or evening.

9. Take one day at a time: Take each day as it comes, every day is a new day and each day has its own adventure. Try not to think too far ahead, it can easily lead into anxiety or like me have jumbled thoughts. Focus on the task at hand and don't worry about tomorrow.

10. Expect the un-expected: Keep in mind that you will have good days and bad days and feelings and emotions can change from one day to the next so don't be surprised if one day you feel great and the next day you feel as though it happened yesterday. It's just one of those things that happen and I can't explain why but it does.

11. Keep moving forward: It is important that you take time out to grieve, it is also important to keep moving forward in your life. There is a tendency to shut down or want to quit everything but the reality is, it will only hurt you in the end if all you do is isolate yourself even more. Remember that you still have loved ones in your life that need you and that your life is still worth living not just for yourself and your family but also for God. Jeremiah 29:11 Says, I know the plans that I have for you."

One more thing, as you go through the grieving process remember that you are not alone, and that God is right there with you comforting you and interceding for you on your behalf. The bible says that as you draw near to God He will draw near to you.

You also have family and friends that care about you and want to be there for you so allow them to minister, comfort and encourage you during this time.

I hope these tips will help give you some insight into the process of grief and loss and encourage you to know that it's okay to grieve and that true strength comes when we are at our weakest. The bible says when we are weak than we are strong because the power of God rests upon us during those times. Allow God to be your strength. May God bless you!

Scripture References:

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

Heb 4:15-16 "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

Ps 119:76-77 "May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight." NIV

Filoiann Wiedenhoff is a Pastor’s Wife, Work at Home Mom, Woman’s Biblical Counselor, Bible Teacher and Writer. You can subscribe to her monthly newsletter and visit her website.

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