The gift of grief is giving the ability to cope with whatever devastating loss that is assaulting you and yours. This gift is the gift of life, the ability to go on when what you may want is for it all to stop. How can life go on after all? The year after my first husband died, we went to Disney and I would look at all the happy, busy people and wonder how life was going on around me when I felt so sad and numb. Sounds odd because I was falling in love with someone and contemplating a life with him. Then I would feel guilty for enjoying life. It was a struggle. I finally accepted the gift of grief and took it with me into a restored life, leaving the wounded baggage behind as I pressed forward for my kids and myself.
I love acronyms. After I wrote this blog post I discovered there was an acronym, ARTS. What does that have to do with grief? I’m encouraging you to create a new way to deal with an old issue, a creative work of art that helps you realize the gift that grief is if it’s handled right and how when that grief is brought to fruition it brings healing. You may never get over the grief but you can get through it. Here are 4 ways to turn your tragedy into triumph.
If embrace is the deepest expression of love when we greet, then grief is the deepest expression of love when we part. Grief is the deepest emotion of love turned inside out when your world is turned upside down. It must be allowed to be played out, otherwise the pain will not be resolved, it may consume you, leaving you to dwell in the dark confines of disillusion and despair about what could have been. This may take time. Each occurrence of grief or loss is different for every individual and takes its own journey to reach the destination of healing. Allow time, allow tears, allow pain for the pain cannot be dispelled until time allows.
Remember the lost loved one with fondness. Be grateful we were honored to have them be a part of our lives. My friend ’s five year old grandson died and she was devastated, but she cannot wait to see him again and is grateful she had him to to share love and laughter with, even for such a short time. What a gift his life was to her and his family. Memories do bring comfort. My daughter recently lost her husband. She got a blanket with many happy pictures of them together at the beach on their last vacation. There are awesome sayings on it about how much they loved each other. When my son died in an auto accident, we played “If You Could See Me Now” at his funeral. It’s a reminder of how he is whole and happy in heaven with Jesus. He is more alive than ever with the Great Life-Giver. (See 1 John chapter 1, it talks about the Life-Giver.) Remembering where they are and how you will see them again eases the pain of separation.
There are many kinds of grief or loss that can cause chaos in someone’s life: divorce, death, loss of a job, addiction, depression, loss of a pet, loss of a dream, etc. These all evoke strong emotions that need to be dealt with in the positive or they will find a negative outlet. Tears are the release valve God designed for these song emotions. What is another release valve that can bring healing?
You can get support from 3 connections that are like an extension cord that gives you energy and strength so you can fully function as you’re able.
UP– to God. Pray and experience His presence, power and His deliverance as you encounter difficulties. “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. (Psalm 18:2 )KJV. God loves you with an everlasting love, don’t ever doubt or forget it. My husband almost died of Covid, but I saw God turn it around after many prayed.
OUT– Friends, family, or support groups. Nothing like a cup of coffee with someone who loves you as you share your thoughts and deepest burdens. Take a walk and enjoy the sunshine, the colors and the fresh air as it all infuses you with hope and energy.
IN– Take care of yourself so you can be there for others and for yourself. Exercise as you’re able and eat right. I know my grandkids need me and my influence in their lives, so I press through with enthusiasm whether I feel like it or not. I choose to be positive and that changes the landscape of my brain and my thoughts, resulting in an improved life and atmosphere around me.
This sums it all up. Seems easy, but it’s not. I know you may never get over the grief, but you can get through it. Your tears will turn to triumph, your hurt will turn to wholeness, and your pain will turn to peace as you receive this gift of grief. Accept your loss and find healing. Resistance brings resistance to recovery. Gratitude is a great companion to take with you on this journey, for it will remind you of God’s goodness and His Grace that is with you no matter what!
I’m writing a book about grief and finding healing in the hurts. I’d love to hear your story. Simply leave me a message here or E-mail me at debrasusanbowman.com. Thank you so much!