There are common experiences in all of our lives, grief and loss is one of them (especially in the last year). Pain is something we will all encounter in this world.
How we deal with that pain or grief varies.
Even though pain and grief are a common thread for all of us, dealing with it in a healthy manner or being comfortable with it is not always common.
Matt and I are taking a grief class currently and it’s been a great reminder of things that I can do to process my grief well because unprocessed grief compounds. Having permission to stop, notice, acknowledge and lament the hard things is so freeing. If we don’t do these things it takes a toll on our mental, physical, and spiritual health.
One thing that has been said over and over is this, grief is meant to be carried, not fixed.
It’s true. Our grief goes with us throughout the years and feels different depending on where we are with processing it, but I take such comfort in knowing that it doesn’t have to be fixed. It can’t be fixed oftentimes.
Be gentle with yourselves if you are carrying grief. You are not broken, you are normal. Look to those who can sit beside you and carry it with you.
If you are someone who is walking with someone grieving, leave the Bible verses, the platitudes, and the “At least…..” statements behind. When you say something like “At least it’s not cancer” when it’s still a terrible medical diagnosis for example, it discounts the pain they are currently in or processing.
Just be with them. Listen well. Meet a tangible need.
Pray for them but don’t push them to get over it or find the silver lining. Our role is to help carry the grief with them, not fix it.
Grief can feel so isolating. Remember, even when you don’t feel it, God is close to the brokenhearted. He will help you carry the grief too.
**If you want to hear more of our thoughts on what we’re learning and some exercises that have been helpful in the process go listen to our podcast episode on grief.