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Getting Through Grief

How do you get over losing a spouse, a child or a grandchild? You don’t. But there is good news – you may not ever get totally over it, but you can get through it! Sam and I both had a son die. It’s a heartbreaking experience you never get over, but we know from personal experience you can get through and come out on the other side, strong and hopeful for the future. Here are eight tips on how you can get through.

Debbie lost Zachary at age 35. Here he is at two.

1) Keep Moving. You can get through by just putting one foot in front of the other. Do what needs to be done even if you don’t feel like it, hour by hour, day by day. Accomplish household chores, laundry , dust, cook. You may not feel like eating, but take some nourishment. Don’t just try to get over grief, let it take its course. You can get through by making a conscious effort to choose to go forward. Get out of bed, one day at a time and you will get through.


2) You can get through by praying. Maybe you asked God why He allowed this. I know I did. He can answer that in due time. But remember, knowing why will not always help you get over your hurting. However you can get through by praying for comfort and reassurance.   Maybe you haven’t been praying. Now is a good time to think about starting. Father God loves you and is waiting to hear from you.

3) You can get through by making faith deposits into your life bank by investing time in Father God’s presence and in His Word.  In the coming days you can then get through the tough moments by make faith withdrawals. God sustained us and helped us through when our world was turned upside down. He will do the same for you! At Zachary’s funeral we played the song “If You Could See Me Now.” You can get through by reminding yourself that your loved ones are whole, healthy and loved beyond your comprehension.

4) You can get through by staying connected to loved ones who care for you. It’s like plugging in an electric cord. You can get through because there is power in plugging into friends and family. It will energize you and keep you going. Get coffee and talk. You can text, or visit, and most of all, you can get through by encouraging someone else. You understand the pain, so simply be there for them and they will be there for you. There is power in the presence of others. Talk with God and each other.


5) Talking and Walking. Talking helps and so does walking. So far we have talked about emotional and spiritual exercise, but physical exercise releases endorphins which make you feel better, physically and emotionally. And, use your walking time to think or reflect. You will get through by putting your eyes forward on the path and then, in due time, your emotions will follow.

Sam lost Kit at age two.

6) Journaling. Get through by journaling. It gets your thoughts out there so you can sort through them. It helps you decide what importance a yesterday event will play in your tomorrow life.

7) Don’t fear forgetting. A loved one lost will always be in your heart. Get through by being determined to move on. Remember, moving on doesn’t mean you are leaving them behind.  Over time memories may recede, but don’t worry about that. You will never forget. A loved one is always and forever there, they just play a new role. You can get through by learning to let happy memories play a positive role in your future.


8) You must resolve anger.  Frequently rehearsing toxic thoughts can lead to serious physical and mental problems. Check out Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book “Who switched off My Brain” (p. 30). Make the choice to travel positive paths in your thoughts and feelings. It’s natural to be angry, and the Word of God makes room for that, saying “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.”  The sun going down is not just about one day, its also a metaphor for saying don’t be angry so long that the “light” (hope, faith, a positive outlook, the ability to live your best life) begins to go out. If you have prolonged anger or grief connect with a great counselor.

9) Allow time for grieving. Everyone is different in their response, but no one can hop right  back into life the next  week like nothing happened.  If you do you are not dealing well with it. You must allow time for tears and sorrow. Don’t let others dictate time by saying, “Well it’s been a year, you should be over it now.” I was numb the first year after Zachary died, therefore I had much to deal with the second year.

Just this last week Sam and I both lost a cousin. We understand new losses have a way of bringing up old losses.  I have cried with families in the ICU when their loved ones passed away. As their nurse I was not ashamed of my tears. They knew I cared for them and had compassion for what they were going through. Whether a widow or widower, parents or grandparents, the nine points we have shared here apply to anyone who has lost a loved one.

Please let us know what has helped you in your time of sorrow, or if we can help or pray for you. God bless you and comfort you as only He can. Keep an eternal perspective, His ways are not our ways therefore choose to trust Him.  Google “In the Eye of the Storm” by Ryan Stevenson and watch the video.  It is awesome.  It explains why “my only hope is to trust You.”

Love, Debbie

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Sam is a businessman, writer, entertainer, speaker, husband, father to five children, grandfather and great grandfather. Sam graduated from Huntington University with a B.A. in psychology and drama and pursued a degree in Broadcasting from Illinois Central College with graduate degree in Christian Ministry from Christian Leadership University. Sam is the creator of Granpa Cratchet, one of the most successful touring shows in the history of the live events industry. Millions of people see Granpa every year all across the United States at fairs and festivals. His characters have appeared on every major network: Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show (4 times). Sam and his characters have made over 500 local appearances and on all the major networks; NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, PBN, The LeSea Network, The PTL Network and Praise the Lord. They currently appear all around the world every week on YouTube and Facebook, and on several satellite networks via the Kidz Television Network and The Captain Hook (children's) Show.

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