Grief is the most challenging club you’ll ever be involved in no matter what your age, culture or belief. Any loss must be mourned whether the loss of a job, a dream or life. Sometimes the secret door to this club is cracked open when you least expect it. You hear a whisper, “What is the secret password?” Something’s wrong. Your mind is not as sharp as usual. You seem to be in a fog, a hazy confusion has settled on your thoughts. You hear a distant voice saying, My child has died. It can’t be, but it is. The voice is your own. You feel like you are in the twilight zone, this can’t be real!
That’s how this club initiation begins. There are certain clubs you don’t want to join and this club you definitely don’t want to join. But join it you must. You also must find a way to make the best of a very bad situation. The transition to this grief club is terrible but you can make it smoother by using an ABC analogy. No matter what grief or loss you are inducted into, apply these principles to turn terrible into tolerable.
Life is not always fair. We live in a fallen world where peoples choices effect their outcome.
Therefore tragedy is allowed. You can’t change the choices of others or a tragic situation, but when you accept it you change your reaction to it. Why doesn’t God intervene? Sometimes there is no answer. You have to trust in the Lord who made the Heavens and Earth. This is explained in a book by Dr. James Dobson, “When God Doesn’t Make Sense.” Whether a loss makes sense or not, it happens and you have to come to the point of trusting God for it is essential for your sanity and restoration and the well being of your body, soul and spirit, for you and those around you.
When my son died, his daughter was 5. At the age of 6 she had a dream. She saw her daddy in white and he said, “Accept.” We had never used this term to her so it was surprising. There should be no surprise that God would give a dream to a young one who is brokenhearted, to remind her that her daddy is okay and she should not fight accepting his death. There is hope and healing in accepting the situation and trusting God.
Believe if there is anything positive to come out of this situation, it’s don’t let your loved ones death take you down a spiral that produces negative thoughts and toxic emotions that hinder safe passage to healing. If the result is not positive you may have hate, bitterness, anger or destructive thoughts that can destroy you or your relationships.
Believe that Father God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (See Psalm 147:3) Even though I was numb for a year after my son died, I knew God sustained me.
Believe your loved one is more alive than ever. We played,”If You Could See Me Now” at my son’s funeral. It was inspirational and encouraging to know that he was whole, restored and more alive than ever.
Your world has crumbled around you. How do you construct it to it’s firm foundation? It will never return to the way it was. There will be a new normal. But a life can be built from the rubble one brick at a time, one foot in front of the other, and one prayer at a time.
Construct a support system about you even as you struggle to right the heavy stones that have crumbled. Sometimes you must have help to lift the heavy burdens. Go for counseling, have coffee with a friend or utilize the community of friends and family that love you and are longing to help in any way they can.
Allow the Creator Constructer to help, for He cares for you and He will never leave you. (See Hebrews 13:5) Since He’s there you might as well let Him help. As the Borg says, resistance is futile,(Sorry I had to insert a little Star Trek in here.) Speaking of which, the Borg bring destruction, and if you don’t construct the destruction back together, it could destroy you.
I thought of something to add to ABC, which makes sense that it is a D word.
You have the power to change the very landscape of your brain by the thoughts you choose. (See “Switch On Your Brain” p. 33 by Dr. Caroline Leaf.)
Decide what you will accept in your thoughts, in your eyes or ears. For you will believe what you think. If you say I am stupid, you will construct a scenario where this will be true in your life. If you say I am amazing or kind, you will be amazing or kind. What you say is what you get. Choose to be a victor not a victim. It’s not wishful thinking, it’s willful thinking.
Recently I was at a festival where my husband was entertaining. There was a lot of Amish, horse and buggies, bikes and bonnets there. A young Amish man was admiring the wit and talent Sam demonstrated in his show. He was outside the stage where i was sitting, so we started talking. He said it really shows that he loves kids, then he asked about our kids, I said we had two sons that died. (I don’t usually share this.) He said, “I know about that, I had a 4 year old die.” And just like that, we were in the same club. A sacred space only those who have lost children enter. Two different cultures, not much in common. The Amish man with his hat, beard, horse and buggy and a white haired woman in her sixties with her capri pants.
When your world is turned upside down and it’s crumbling, follow these ABCD’s to turn your world right side up and turn the terrible into tolerable. You’ll never get over it, but you can get through it! I promise!
Sam is a businessman, writer, entertainer, speaker, husband, father to six children, grandfather and great grandfather. Sam graduated from Huntington University with a B.A. in phychology and drama and pursued a degree in Broadcasting from Illinois Central College with graduate level studies at 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.