Good Grief

December 17, 2014


Grief is an intense, emotional suffering caused by personal loss. There is acute sorrow, deep sadness, suffering, pain, and anguish. Bereavement is a sad and lonely state due to loss such as the death of a loved one.

It is a difficult time.

The bereft will often feel that his experience is unique, that no one has ever endured such a loss or suffered as he is suffering. There are cycles of healing to the pattern of grief, which permit the sorrowing to recover in due time. Some individuals, however, continue grieving for long periods. In some ways, no one is ever completely delivered from the sense of loss.

The cycle of healing, mentioned above, usually proceeds as follows:

  1. The initial shock of death: that intense emotional impact which sometimes leaves a person with a seeming paralysis.

  2. Emotional release: a period of weeping.

  3. Loneliness and depression: The sense of loss is often related to the degree of dependence on the deceased. There are many symptoms of depression.

4          Guilt: “I could have done more,” or “I should have done something differently,” etc.

  1. Anger, hostility: “Why did God do this to me?”

  2. A stage of inertia: Listlessness, “I can’t get on with it”; “I couldn’t care less.”

  3. A gradual return to hope: “Life will go on.” “I will be able to cope.” “God will help me get over his.”

  4. The return to reality and normalcy: admitting the loss and adjusting to it.

We must remember, however, that grief is not predictable nor can it be catalogued.  Sometimes the stages of grief will seem to merge and overlap.  The bereft may feel release from a certain “phase” of suffering, only to have it return.

Counseling grieving people calls for genuineness, special sensitivity and tenderness, sympathy, and empathy. We must depend upon the Holy Spirit for guidance. Convenient, glib, or pat answers have the ring of brass. Our words must be sincere and meaningful, “tailor made for the situation” because real comfort for the bereaving person depends upon where he actual is in the grieving process.

Don’t pretend to have an answer for everything. Admit that you do not understand why or how god does what He does.

Don’t be the “cheerleader” type, attempting to pump up the bereaved with cheer and good will.

Don’t offer clichés or trite phrases about death and suffering.

Don’t suggest that if the grieved were more spiritual or closer to God, the pain might be less.

Remember that one short session will not meet all the needs of the inquirer.  We do what we can, however, to share Jesus Christ, and the message of Scripture.  We will trust God to do His work.

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”      John 14:1-3, KJV

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”            1 Peter 1:3-5, KJV

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

            2 Corinthians 5:1, KJV

Good Grief, does exist and is a healthy expression, don’t be afraid to grieve.

God bless from

Please remember to keep Olivia in your prayers, she is 19, and her illness has brought her weight down to 90lbs. after a long trip across country to see a specialist (twice) they told her they had no idea what’s wrong with her.

Pray for Chris and his son who are coughing up a lung. (great medical diagnosis, huh?)

Pray for Joe, the gift of happiness and fulfillment.

Brent, on leave from the military and gets to see his family for Christmas.

Phil, going to the hospital for testing, he wants to be courageous for his family.

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