Sunday, November 24, 2013

Good Grief: What's Healthy; What's unhealthy
There are all kinds of losses where there is no funeral. You get kicked out of the family business but there is no funeral for that.
Our world has been turned upside down.
Could be loss of a job or not getting the job you want.

Grief is a process of:
Orientation 》 Disorientation 》 Reorientation
Grief is fatiguing because it takes up a lot of emotional and mental space inside as we attempt to find a new normal after the old one has been lost. It is only as we digest emotional happenings.
Sometimes there's more than just grief. It can be traumatic. Consider the 2 layers. Trauma adds anxiety, avoidance, nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, fatigue, brain freeze, nausea, guilt, should haves, the feeling of I'll never get better......

Unhealthy grieving includes:
Denying or suppressing the cocktail of feeling
Doing a spiritual bypass jumping to God knows. You can't take a spiritual bypass. God gave you the ability to feel
Becoming anxious or depressed for more than a year
Engaging in numbing self medication
Staying stuck in one of the stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression
Avoiding places or people that remind us of the loss

Take care of yourself. Stress of loss will deplete your energy and emotions.

Face your feelings. In order to heal acknowledge and express the pain or you'll kill yourselves. Not everyone is weepy. That's OK. Talk with people you feel safe with. TALK.

Express your feelings. Write a loss journal. Write a letter to the one who passed. Read it at the grave. Make a scrapbook or photo album. Get involved in a cause.

Don't let anyone tell you how you feel or should feel. Your grief is your own. Let yourself feel whatever you feel. Let yourself grieve without embarrassment or judgement.

Plan ahead for grief triggers: Anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, .. Be prepared for an emotional wallop and know it's normal. Give yourself permission to me cranky. Agree on strategies to honor the person you loved.

I so want to say something to take your pain away but Mr Fixit in me just can't. I must learn that the most important thing is to sit and listen.

Does the church help people who grieve? I would love to be out of business but I'm not.

We know Jesus is the answer but sometimes we are too superficial. The deep corners of the soul don't get touched.

An accepting congregation is a beautiful thing. People need to be open to each other's junk.

Getting angry at God is part of grief. God does not need defending. God can take it. It doesn't make you a bad person. Just read the Psalms. Your feelings need expression. I get it. That's a strong feeling.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. God knows us in the deepest places.

How do you help children grieve? Language appropriate. Diluted to their level. Prayer is not a slam dunk. You may not eat dessert before you eat your vegetables.

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