[ In the midst of the sense of tragedy or loss, sometimes laughter is not only healing, it's a way of experiencing the person that you've lost again. ~Alan Alda ]
Often the holidays are stressful enough and add on grieving the loss of a loved one can bring on depression and a sense of distress because they magnify the loss; not to mention the fact that our holidays have become a circus. Mass consumerism, and pointless frivolity have resulted in diluting the true meaning of many of the holiday celebrations that honor our Lord.
Many people make attempts to 'avoid' their grief by being someplace else, isolating themselves, or numbing themselves in order to cope, to escape the pain. The need for support and spiritual support is never more important than now. Part of grieving a loss IS going through the pain. We aren't stopping the grieving process, we're attempting to stop the pain, but pain is a part of the grieving and healing journey although difficult.
It's important to take the steps needed to get through holiday times. If you need to lay aside family filled holiday celebrations to deal with your grieving period then do so. For some it may be the opposite, being surrounded by family and friends may be just the support needed to carry one through. Embracing those feelings and moving through them is what's important, instead of avoiding and stuffing them deeper into your already broken spirit. Be accepting of whatever you're feeling in all of it's up's and down's. Accept that you may be ok and even experience some joy, and then feel devastated. Own what you're going through and go through it...
[ Veronica's spiritual journey has shown her that tuning into her physical self through exercise helps her to keep focused on the Lord! ]
It's so important to give yourself permission of Feel, and not to allow guilt to bring feelings of obligation in order to keep up traditions. If decorating for the holidays feels too like much, don't do it. If skipping the holidays altogether is what you need do it, let family and friends know that you're taking the time to tend to your grieving needs. Be patient and gentle with yourself and provide the care, space and time that you may require. If there is some activity you may want to do that give you comfort then do that.
Participating in some activity that honors your loved one, going someplace they loved to be, or doing something they loved doing, or simply just looking at photos and talking about them is a comforting way to keep loved ones with you during these sensitive times.
Remember the LORD is with us to hold our hands through every single step of our lives! He knows our greatest joys and our deepest grief. He knows that we do not have a conceptual understanding of losing loved ones; here's where we have to rely on and really trust in him and that his ways aren't our ways.
[ Cell phones no matter how powerful can't trump the greatest connection we can have through prayer with our Father...]
Take the time to spend in prayer, to just sit and rest in the Lord who is really the only one who can reach deep into our soul and comfort us in the ways that only he can, this is how we can walk through these times without sacrificing our sanity.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.~Psalms 34:18
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
Cling to him, cry to him, he's here for our anger, our grief and confusion and our darkest sadness that only the Holy Spirit can communicate effectively for us to our Father. The more time we spend with him the better we will be able to walk through our grief without it consuming us. We often grieve for many seasons, and infinitely throughout the rest of our lives, but we are still in Life and we WILL be lead out of the darkness and back into the lives that Christ died for through for them!
[Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life. ~Anne Roiphe]
It is my deepest hope that this may help anyone who's experiencing loss ( and loss through tragic circumstances ) to cling to hope, cling to life, cling to our LORD, and not give up or into living a life of despair. Hurt and pain is unavoidable in life on earth, and loss unfortunately is a part of it. Lets lift one another up, let someone know they are important, loved and that they matter in this world. God loves each of his sons and daughters more deeply that we'll ever understand. Even when you think you don't feel the Lord's love, HE DOES, we have to believe that, to start speaking and living that until it becomes our truth!!
The Lord's blessings to all who are in seasons of loss...
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