“My Flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26)
Our focus for the month of July is women’s health. However, our church and the leadership are experiencing a great sense of loss and grief, therefore, I decided that this month’s focus will be loss and grief. I pray that the information provided will help those experiencing loss and are grieving to know that this process does not end when there is personal loss, or when our loved one passes. It is a process that takes time as we pass through a season of darkness to the light. It’s hoped that this information will bring a glimmer of hope and peace (John 14:27) during this time of sorrow.
Loss: the condition of being deprived of something/someone. All losses produce a grief response, intensity varies by importance of ones’ loss.
Grief: a personal experience of loss. Grief is a strong, sometimes overwhelming emotion for people, regardless of whether their sadness stems from the loss of a loved one or from a terminal diagnosis. They might find themselves feeling numb and removed from daily life, unable to carry on with regular duties while saddled with their sense of loss.
Although I grieve the recent loss of my brother, I find comfort in prayer and my continued strength comes from my relationship with Almighty God, through his son Christ Jesus.
Grief is the natural reaction to loss. Grief is both a universal and a personal experience. Individual experiences of grief vary and are influenced by the nature of the loss. Some examples of loss include the death of a loved one, the ending of an important relationship, job loss, loss through theft or the loss of independence through disability.
Experts advise those grieving to realize they can't control the process and to prepare for varying stages of grief, these 5 stages are:
Denial - this is not happening/ it’s not real
Anger - Why me / why did God make this happen?
Bargaining - God I will do A, B or C, if you answer my prayer or give me what I want
Depression – You have given up and you see no solution to the problem
Acceptance - You realize that there is nothing that will change the outcome
Understanding why they're suffering can help, as can talking to others and trying to resolve issues that cause significant emotional pain, such as feeling guilty for a loved one's death. Abnormal and unchecked grief can result in physical illness such as stroke, heart attacks, or even death.
Mourning: is the act of grieving. Mourning can last for months or years. Generally, the pain of a person’s loss decreases as time passes (Matthews 5:4).
Bereavement: the state of living with a loss. The bereaved person gradually adapts to life without a loved one, to the news of a terminal diagnosis or the realization that someone they love died. It is important that the person who is grieving has the support of friend, family and the church
If you're uncertain about whether your grieving process is normal, consult your health care professional and grief counselors for help, and your pastor for spiritual guidance. Outside help is sometimes beneficial to people trying to recover and adjust to a death or diagnosis of a terminal illness.
Dr. Colleen Kilgore.
Director of Health Ministry
Mountain View Baptist church