How many have experienced some sort of grief?
What have they grieved over?
What are the “stages of grief”?
When will I be completely recovered from grief?
What can cause a grief reaction?
Grief, many questions. I don’t believe there are any clear, cut and dried answers about grief. The descriptions of grief are as many as the numbers of people who have grieved at one point in their life or another. All of us are uniquely created by God and because of that the emotional reaction of grief in each of us is as unique as we are.
When loss occurs there will be grief.
One thing that I do believe is that grief and the process of grieving after a loss in our lives is a slippery, sliding mountain climbing experience. It is a hard, rocky, steep and long uphill road to climb for most of us. It is frustrating and confusing. We cannot will ourselves out of that state of mind, grief has to take its course and we have to accept that it is taking its course. We have to allow it to take its time and not become frustrated because it is taking too long. When enduring the process of grief in my life, at times it has been a two steps forward and then one step backward experience.
Many events in our lives can cause grief to occur. Of course there is the obvious reason, the physical death of a person we love. There is the death of a pet, also, that brings on grief in many people.
Then there are the less obvious things that cause grief. The death of a relationship, the loss of a group of people in our lives for whatever reason. Divorce. Financial loss which could also include a multitude of possessions being lost such as a person’s much loved home, standard of living, etc. etc. Grief could occur when one loses a child or children who peacefully leave the nest for “parts unknown”. It could also occur when a child or children “go bad” or when people rip themselves out of our lives because of a misunderstanding or disagreement. Maybe someone that we love is diagnosed with a devastating physical or mental illness that will be very difficult to recover from (if they ever do).
Other reasons could be when one leaves their church to join another one, changes jobs or unexpectedly enters a new season of life.
The list could go on and on but I believe that I have used enough examples at this point to help nudge you into an introspection of your own life.
There are many things in my life that I have grieved over. I have gone through the grief process at times without recognizing that it was grief I was experiencing and I have gone through it fully knowing that I was grieving. I have come to the conclusion that it is best to know that I am grieving when I am going through it because I recognize the phases and can be a little kinder to myself throughout the process.
One thing that I have learned is that grief is not just a onetime emotion like love or hate, or happiness or sadness. It is a process and there are several different stages of grief that one will go through while grieving.
Professionals have been able to breakdown the grief process into 5-7 stages. These stages are somewhat generalized because the process of grief is just as unique as each individual person is. I will list the stages but first I will say that although the order of the stages is listed here, it doesn’t mean that one will go through them in this order. Some stages will be experienced by one more intensely than others depending on your unique personality. There is no right or wrong way to experience grief. It just comes. Here are the stages as I see them and have experienced them:
As I said before, we are all unique individuals and God has created us all very uniquely. Our experiences are unique. Sometimes when grieving we will not experience all of the stages listed, either. That is ok, too.
For the last fifteen months I have personally been grieving. I have been closed out of relationship with a small group of people whom I care for very deeply. I had invested a large part of my life into these people and had thought that they would be in my life until the end. There have been days that I just did not think that I could survive another day and all I could do was do whatever was set in front of me to survive that one day.
There has been much that has been born from this grief in my own soul. It has made me think about what is really important and ask questions of myself such as, “Who can I really count on?” “What really does matter in life?” The Lord has used this time to work in my life in a miraculous way.
I had known that someday I would write but I could never make myself get started on writing anything. I did not know what to write or how to start. During this year, I started seriously writing and eventually started this blog. It was born out of my grief.
A passage that has been resonating with me is this one:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
If you have been grieving, let this passage resonate with you. Grief is a form of tribulation. Read it. Hold it close to your heart. Let Him birth something new in you.
Please be patient with me as I wade through this subject over the next few weeks. I don’t believe that this will be the subject of every post because I have found, with blogging, sometimes other subjects will pop up that I feel compelled to post about. I will, however, be posting about this subject regularly until I have shared everything on my heart that I feel I should share.
Love and blessings to you for today,