So, how do we go about working through our own grief, while continuing to support others who grieve, some more deeply than we ourselves? We are all familiar with the five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. What we often don't talk about is what grief "does" to us. We rarely speak of the physical impact; the dreams, the sleeplessness, the loss of appetite, never feeling like we can eat enough, drink enough, cry enough, love enough, do enough, be enough, scream enough. Howard Clinebell suggests that we do need to focus on survival and working through our grief, it's also important to look at how we move past survival and into a season of growth as we move forward to heal as completely as possible. As in the stages of grief, each will work through these tasks in different ways and in different time, but they help us to grieve in a healthy manner.
Task I: Deal with Numbness and Shock
Task 2: Expressing and Talking through Feelings as They Are Gradually Released
Task 3 and 4: Coping and Then Rebuilding
Task 5: Enhancing Spiritual and Ethical Wholeness
Task 6: Reaching Out for Mutual Support and Care
We know that in some cases we never quite completely heal from grief, especially when we experience a grief that is tragic or untimely. Our goal is to come through grief together, able to share our experiences, tears, love and laughter.
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
We come through grief with Jesus. Our Savior, our hope, our joy. We come through grief together, as a community and a Family of Faith. We come together to love each other through the times we can't imagine getting through on our own. Together we are so very much better, in mind, body, spirit and grief.
Be blessed, be a blessing, and take someone with you on the journey, Pastor Kim