If you look in Webster’s dictionary, grief is defined as a deep sadness, caused especially by someone’s death. Those of us who have suffered through grief know it can feel like a deep ocean, drowning you in the realization you will never see a recently passed loved one again in your earthly life.
We want you to know there is hope beyond grief, despite how dark it may seem.
Why Do We Grieve?
There are many reasons you may be feeling grief, maybe even long after you’d expect to. The feeling of grief is perfectly natural and is ultimately a process and a journey.
Grief is at its core loneliness, and it’s a heavy reality to come to terms with, especially if there was an unexpected or particularly traumatic death involved.
Even if you were expecting the inevitable end to a long life of a loved one, it can still hurt to be the kid without their mentor grandparent, the daughter without a mother, or the man or woman without their spouse. It’s completely valid to miss your loved ones who’ve passed on.
The Grieving Journey
Some people say grief doesn’t begin immediately and that there is a period of shock where you process the death first before grieving, especially if there was an unexpected or traumatic nature to the death.
One also might say, though, that this shock is also a part of the grief process and that grief begins immediately upon learning of the death of a loved one, but that it is the healing process that may take a while to begin. It might be the holiday grief that sets it in motion for you this year, realizing the gravity of not having your loved one at the table at Thanksgiving, or unwrapping presents with the family on Christmas morning.
Holiday grief is that grief you feel during the “fill-in-the-blank” holiday without your loved one. You come to dread all of the firsts without them, but the family-oriented holidays this time of year tend to be the hardest, causing holiday grief. The more intense your love for your lost loved one, the deeper your grief will be, making the holidays lonely and forcing you to confront their passing in a profound way.
Hope Beyond Grief
There is hope beyond grief and there is no better time than now to confront the emotions that may be freshly resurfacing. Contact us today for more information about Grief Care Fellowship’s books and course modules for you or your church’s grief group.