How to grieve.

 

 

Have you lost someone important in your life? It is very natural to grieve, yet there are as many different ways to grieve as there are people who are grieving. I want to share with you something a little different than what society acknowledges as grieving.

My mother passed away last week.  It was something that will change my life forever as it did when my mother’s mother passed away when I was 16. I watched my mother as she grieved. Her sisters were very concerned because my mother didn’t grieve as they had expected.

I learned that wallowing in grief is not healthy. I’ve done it, for many years I grieved over my father and other things that I lost in my life.  I cried so many hours of my life, over things that I could not change. No matter how many tears you shed, you cannot bring someone back from death.

In 2002 I became clinically depressed after my father passed away. As a single mother of 3 very small children, I had moved back in with my parents. So my father’s absence was very profound.  Working full time and struggling to pay the bills was not at the forefront of my mind, it was my loss. I never once thought about my father’s gain.

My mother did not show outward emotion, crying or screaming…or much of anything when her mother passed away. She had watched her health crumble for many, many months before my grandmother went to heaven.  My mother knew that my grandmother was in heaven with Jesus, and not suffering to do simple tasks like speak.

Because of my mother’s reaction, my aunts kept a very close eye on her. Believing that she would fall apart and have an emotional breakdown at some point, but she did not. My mother was strong yes, but she was also very honest with herself and others about how she felt with her mother passed. She knew that there was no reason to be upset that her mother was in a better place. Did she rejoice? I can’t go as far as to say that she did rejoice, but I know that’s what she was trying to do.

My mother was diagnosed with cancer, stage 4. We don’t know where it started, but we knew it was bad. We knew that there was no cure. I don’t know when my mother wrote this prayer, but its very rewarding to know that she understood fully what was happening to her body, and with her soul.  I want to share this prayer with you:

Dear Jesus,
I’m up tonight thinking about things that I cannot fix, nor neither can
I change.  Jesus all I can do is put my trust in you.  I guess Jesus,
when there are no other place to go, no one to turn to it is time to
trust that you will take over.  I’m at my wits end.  My back is against
the wall, Jesus I love you.

 

This gave me the strength to accept my mother’s fate and too know that she accepted her fate. Only a few days later we had her funeral.

I have cried over my loss. The feeling of being an orphan was overwhelming. Over the loss that my kids will have to face that they do not understand, that I did not understand as an adult when my father passed away.

What I haven’t done, is given over to grief. Someone mentioned on my facebook wall that the Bible says to give yourself 7 days to grieve. I did find a little something in a quick search about Job being given 7 days to grieve. But I haven’t done a lot of research here. But I understand the concept. I will try to explain.

When I decided to become a psychology major, I subscribed to Psychology today.  One of the articles that I read was about giving yourself 2 days to grieve, plot revenge, and just be angry after a breakup. After 48 hours, you are to put it behind you, and put yourself first so that you can move forward.

I believe that this is what you should do when you lose a loved one also. Give yourself time to grieve, but celebrate their life also. I know that there will be days that will be so hard you don’t’ think that you can move on, but that is when you must cling to your faith and your God. Know that he has a plan for you, and that it includes what you are going through in that moment.

I won’t tell you to only take 7 days to grieve, I don’t’ think there is a one size fits all answer to grieving. What I will tell you is that God does not want you living in the past. Your loved ones do not want you living in the past either.

Do what you can to move forward, even if you stumble and take a few steps backwards. Keep your momentum going forward. When you need someone to talk to, talk to them. When you need an hour to cry or scream, do just that. But don’t feel sorry for your loved one who you know is with Jesus, try to rejoice!

I will leave you with this video of how my mother celebrated life. My mother lived with constant pain for over 20 years, and when this was video was taken; she was suffering with C. Diff. Colitis along with many other things. I know that this is what she is doing in heaven!