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Understanding Grief
by Julia May
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Understanding Grief

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

What happens to us when we lose a loved one to death? We grieve. Grief is very natural when we are faced with the death of a loved one. There are many emotions in the grieving process. We may feel at times we are losing our minds and nobody could possibly understand. We just want to escape the pain of it all. The sorrow can be overwhelming. We may also become anxious, nervous or fearful or even be filled with guilt and remorse. Then we can become withdrawn or angry - possibly at the deceased for leaving us or at God. These are all natural emotions and part of the healing process.

With the death of a loved one most people will experience one of two reactions:

- They will draw closer to God for comfort or
- They will turn away from God in anger

Obviously, the wisest choice would be to draw closer to God, but not everyone does. In the beginning stages of grief the shock of trying to comprehend the loss can sometimes cause our emotions to outweigh our logical thought process. But, God is a God of comfort. He will always comfort us in our times of need when we seek Him.

We tend to think death should not happen, yet we all know deep down ísomedayí it will. Just not today. We are never quite prepared for it - even if our loved one is sick and their death imminent, it still rocks our world with confusion and despair.

As believers in Jesus Christ, Paul tells us to sorrow not as those who have no hope. We, as Christians have hope of seeing our loved ones again, of knowing they are with Jesus - in a much better place than we are. They are in heaven! They are rejoicing and praising God. That in itself can bring us great comfort.

Another aspect I would like to consider is how we deal with friends who have recently lost a loved one. I have heard it said the worst thing you can do is pretend like it never happened - or say nothing because of awkwardness and not knowing what to say. It is part of the healing process for the grief-stricken to be able to talk about the loss, to remember and honor their loved ones.

Letís look at some good ways to help in this process. We should ask about their loss, ask about their pain, then be a good listener. But, if they are not yet ready to talk about it, donít press them. Just sit with them and let them know you care. Try not to feel awkward but be sincere. Never minimize their loss. You can tell them about your own losses and how you felt about them. But make sure you donít dominate the conversation with your experiences. It is all about the grieving person right now, not you. So, acknowledge their pain and let them know it will get better, with time and leaning on God for strength. Talk about how Jesus wept at the death of His friend Lazarus - how He always shares our grief. Pray with them out loud. Donít just tell them you are praying for them - do it right then and there. Prayer brings immediate comfort to a hurting soul. Let them know they are not alone and you will do whatever is needed to help them get through this time. Then do it.

Finally, make sure the person does not retreat for a long length of time. Ask them to share in activities with you. Help them to face the world again when they are ready. Let them know there is always hope in Jesus. A true friend is someone who will always point a hurting soul to the arms of Jesus. God bless.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Thomas Kittrell 28 Feb 2008
It is all about the grieving person right now, not you.

Thanks for putting the above in there.

Justus Ondieki 26 Feb 2008
Hello Julia, that was a powerful article indeed!May God bless you for this and keep writing for God.God will always participate in our times of grief, and the Kingdom of God is all about hope.Thank you.Love sent, Justus
Danette Kettwich 26 Feb 2008
A good friend is dealing with her best friend who just lost her 13 year old daughter. She is a believer but right now she is very angry at God for taking her daughter from her. I will share this article with her as she helps her friend get through this terribly tough time. God Bless you- this came at a perfect time! Danette
David&Dee Jobes 26 Feb 2008
Powerful anointed article that I can see God will continue to use mightly to touch a soul who is experiecing the griefing process in their live.I can hear in Your Loving words of Godly Wisdom that our Loving Compassionated Lord has walked that Valley with You a few times in Your Life.He has taken me througth that Valley with the Loss of My Dear Grandmother,Dad and Christian Brother and Sisters...God Bless,Keep writing for the Glory of God... With Much Love in Christ, Dee "Numbers 6:24,25,26"
Julie Michaelson 25 Feb 2008
Hm...I don't think it's that simple. Actually, in my experience with terrible grief, you turn toward God one day - and, the next, you're blowing raspberries at Him. One minute, I'm telling Him how much I love Him, and the next, I'm making faces at Him. Oh - I sincerely hope He's got the patience and humor, that I think He does!! God Bless.


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