Getting through grief

Whether you’ve been touched by personal loss or the global news is keeping you up at night, the reality is grief happens. In a time of deep sorrow, you may have more questions than answers:

  • What do I do now?
  • Am I going crazy, or is it normal to feel this way?
  • Shouldn’t I be able to fly solo through this?
  • How long does grief last?
  • What do I do when my world is turned upside down by the death of someone I love?

Learning to Grieve from Jesus

The Bible offers great encouragement for anyone whose world has been shattered. John 11:33-35 describes Jesus’ reaction when He heard about the death of His dear friend, Lazarus. Jesus didn’t pretend the pain wasn’t real. Instead, Jesus wept.

Jesus wept, and so can we. It’s OK, even essential, to be honest about what you’re going through. Grief is not weakness or a lack of faith. It is the consequence of awesome love.

Psalm 34:18 promises,“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Even when we go through a deep valley of sorrow, Jesus does not leave us there. Deuteronomy 31:6 assures us that God will not leave us or forsake us. You are not alone!

What to Do when You’re Stuck in Sorrow

Writing in a blank journal is one of the most effective ways to work through grief. Whether you’re feeling weary, relieved, confused, exasperated, or whatever, getting your unfiltered thoughts onto paper is excellent therapy.

Additionally, creating a memory box or scrapbook, and asking others to contribute is a helpful way to remember and honor the impact your loved one’s life made.

Grieving Doesn’t Make You Crazy

Grief can feel like crazy. When your life has been shaken by the death of a loved one, you may experience unfamiliar emotions — sleeplessness, appetite changes, bitterness, relief, loss of joy, inability to cope. Even though grief sometimes feels like crazy, you are not crazy. You are grieving. Thankfully, most grief-related symptoms will subside over time.

If at any point you feel like you’re barely hanging on, reach out to a trusted friend, pastor, or professional counselor. Letting someone into the pain will remind you you’re not alone.

Lean Into Your Faith

Philippians 4:6-7 provides an antidote for our anxious thoughts: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Time with God can help you overcome anxiety and experience peace. Find a quiet place free from distractions where you can read, reflect, write, and pray.

If you’ve never asked Jesus into your life, you can do that today. Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Asking Jesus into your life is not a complicated process, but it is the most important decision you will ever make.

Don’t Rush the Process

Grief takes as long as it takes. It is perfectly OK to always miss the person you’ve lost. One expert puts it this way, “Closure is for bank accounts, not for love accounts.”

If you’re missing someone greatly today, brainstorm with your friends and family to find creative ways to honor your loved one’s legacy.

As long as we’re alive, we will work through seasons of grief. But the hope we have in Jesus is that this life is not all there is. One day, we will know how it feels to never go through grief again. Revelation 21:4 is an incredibly encouraging promise for those who know and love Jesus: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

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