So the lengthy process of grieving is in full swing. There’s the crying, self-denial, burst of anger, self-blame, depression, and withdrawal from friends and family.
Though it is natural to grieve, it’s also natural to move forward past grieving. There is no universal grieving period, but you can know when the grieving process is becoming unhealthy. When individuals purposely snuggle up with mourning without making any effort to move forward, that’s a signal something is wrong.
The course of grieving is to help individuals gradually get back to their normal functioning and regular routine. These include going back to school and or work, getting out and socializing, and resuming a healthy appetite. As well as restarting certain activities such as exercising, picking up or dropping off the kids, coaching, going back to book club, writing, and so on. If the person who is grieving remains in a state of constant crying, denial, and depression as time progresses, then it’s time for professional help.
One has to make a conscious decision to move forward pass mourning. This does not mean forgetting the deceased. It means accepting the fact that life goes on. Though this decision to press on will not be easy, over time, the realization that it’s possible will take form. The Lord loves us, and because of this He will show compassion. Lamentation 3: 31-33 confirms this, “For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”
Little steps are the best steps to take when starting the journey of overcoming long term grief. Begin by coming out of hiding; don’t ostracize yourself any longer. Strive to be the sociable bumble-bee you once were, and doing so will help minimize the risk of battling clinical depression. Get the support of spouse, relatives, and friends and they will provide the drive you need to persevere. Also, know that it’s OK to reminisce and talk about the deceased; doing so is a part of the healing process as well. Most importantly, draw comfort and reassurance from God’s words. The Bible will be the best Therapist you could ever have.
Gaining the victory over long term grief, will not be accomplished overnight. Yet, the hope that things will be better after a while through God’s grace should be enough to keep your eyes on the prize. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die…” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 It is a given that death will come… and we will cry. However, it’s a blessing that we can be hopeful in this promise found in the Bible; “Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5