Webster’s Dictionary defines grief in the following ways:
Deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death.
“she was overcome with grief”
trouble or annoyance.
“they won’t give you any grief in the next few days”
Anytime anyone loses something, big or small, they can experience grief.
Loss of a perceived opportunity, Loss of hope, Loss of a relationship and of course, Loss of a loved one.
Grief is something that will happen to us all and we have to give ourselves a chance to experience it.
So, now that we know what it is… How do we sit in it?
The active way we experience the emotion is how we “sit” in it.
It’s the crying, screaming, kicking… Whatever you do when you become sad or sorrowful.
Now, while grief doesn’t feel good, we have to endure it’s process. You may be asking why in the world would I want to allow myself experience THAT?
Because you have to. There’s honestly no way around it. You can cover it up, ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist, but is doesn’t disappear.
Picture it this way, you cut your finger while preparing dinner. What do you do?
- You become aware of it
- You scream, swear, or call out to Jesus
- Once you regain your composure, you assess the damage (if it’s not life threatening) you may
- You wash it off
- You apply ointment
- You dress it with a bandage.
- You continue preparing dinner
While you are wearing a bandage, you can’t actually see the wound. You can even continue on with your plans, possibly forgetting about it.
However, some things can penetrate through the band aid’s protective layer and get into the wound causing you pain, reminding you that although it’s covered up; it’s still there.
It’s only with time, continued application of ointment and careful avoidance of irritants, the wound will heal until it has completely gone away.
It’s the same with grief. Even if you cover it up, ignore it, pretend it doesn’t exist… It still does.
We must allow ourselves to process the grief in positive ways that allow us to continue to heal and move forward.
Some methods that can help you through our grief are:
- Journaling- This allows us to acknowledge our sadness, identify our the progression through the sadness and refocusing on the goals we have set for ourselves.
- Talking with the “right” friend- someone who can encourage you through the emotion. Not someone who is experiencing the same emotion or someone who is negative. Misery loves company and neither of you will be able to provide assistance which may actually complicate things… possibly for the worst.
- Taking up a hobby- This allows you to channel your energy into something that makes you happy; or using your grief to create something beautiful.
- Talking to a person on Clergy or Therapist-This will give you a safe place to talk about your grief and help you to identify a path through the grief; leading you to a place of clarity and in time, happiness.
The bible puts it this way, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
God know that we would all have to experience grief, but he doesn’t intend for us to stay in it.
To “sit” in an emotion indicates that it’s only an encounter. The length of your stay, depends you!