Wednesday, December 17, 2008

God's way to grieve by Vick Phipps

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4, NIV)

1. Just be there -- Sometimes it is wise to say less and just be a physical presence. Human beings need other human beings when grieving. It is an instinct to reach out, but when we are grieving we often forget how, so just show up and be there to make them aware that you care. This, all by itself, will most likely be enough to get them through the most tragic time of their life.

2. Don't assume that your way to grieve is the best way for all -- People grieve differently, so don't assume that you understand grief more than a they do. Some people refuse to grieve as a way to retain control. Remember that sometimes denial can be comforting too. Don't try to force the tears as a way to relieve someone else's grief. Be patient with grief and allow others to grieve in their way and in their own time.

Try not to judge what others believe at the time of grief. It is wise sometimes to keep your lips closed and listen instead. "You baby is in a better place," isn't comforting to a mother who is grieving any more than those words would be for you. Allow people to say how unfair it is, because it is. To say, "Life can be unfair, but we have to have faith," is true, but it doesn't remove the pain of unfair things, so allow a mother to grieve, unfaithfully, until she is ready to believe the truth. Grief takes time and needs to get angry for a while before it can move onto acceptance. Don't worry about the soul of a grieving soul. I promise you that God will protect it, so you don't have to.

3. Never deny the needs of the one who grieves -- Some people need to grieve in ways that may not agree with your religious views, but I believe that in God's eyes, He sees our grief as a way to release the pain we feel inside. If we grieve improperly, He will be the one who decides what improper is. Even in grief, we all have free will, and no one else has the power to change it, but the person who lives within it. Try to trust that they will find God's way to grieve, eventually.

A parent's grief for the loss of a child is like no other. Unless you have experienced it, you cannot understand it. Just try to accept whatever they need to do, and in the process you will be a great comfort too.

4. Don't forget the surviving child -- If the grieving parent has a surviving child, remember that child is grieving too. One way to support someone who is grieving the loss of a baby is to spend time with the child who is still alive. Children will feel abandoned, otherwise. Grief is something that includes the entire family, so do not forget the youth.

5. Hold onto the grieving soul, and don't let go -- There is nothing more healing that you could do, but to hold onto the one who is grieving. The human touch works miracles and can heal even the deepest wounds. When someone grieves, it isolates that person into a place where they feel alone. When you put your arms around someone who is grieving, you are reminding that person that they are never alone.

To conclude, if you have taken the time to read this article, God bless you. Any soul who cares and feels for a grieving soul is one of God's earthly angels which I believe He designated for reasons such as these. We all must grieve, eventually, but it does not have to mean that life is not fair and God does not care. It only means that there is a season for everything. Acceptance takes time.

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