Monday, June 8, 2009

GRIEF AND MOURNING

I received the following in an email from a friend at church who worked in Hospice. It was an eye opener for me. I know how I am feeling but I can't always describe it... This described it for me. I grieve for my son everyday. My sister laughed the other week when we talked. I had told her that I still haven't made it through a day without shedding tears over our loss of Samuel. She asked what makes me cry. I went on to tell her, it might be a song, looking at his pictures, something someone says to me, or something nice that someone has done for me, or just my empty arms aching. We both agreed it might be MANY more months until the tears stop falling on a daily basis. So I grieve deeply for my son, but I am also mourning... I never really understood the difference until I read the following:

“Let’s remind ourselves of the importance between the terms grief and mourning. Grief is the internal thoughts and the feelings of loss and pain, whereas mourning is the outward, shared expression of that grief – or grief gone public. All bereaved families grieve when someone they love dies. But if they are to heal, they must have a safe, accepting atmosphere in which they can mourn.”


“To companion the bereaved means to be an active participant in their healing. When you as a caregiver companion the bereaved, you allow yourself to learn from their unique experiences. You let the bereaved teach you instead of the other way around. You make the commitment to walk with them as they journey through grief.”
Alan Wolfelt




The above quotes recognize that we need each other when journeying through life’s losses and this includes our need for God as well. This past Memorial Day marks a day of remembrance for those living and for those who have died. It is through the life experience of bereavement that we realize how important remembering is to the healing of those who are grieving. It is in the remembering that we attend to our grief. The phrase “time heals all wounds [our grief]” is a myth. Like any wound, it takes time to heal, but the healing usually does not happen without careful attention. The careful attention of a physical wound might include cleaning, debriding, stitches, and the application of medicines. In the same manner, the careful attention of someone with an emotional/spiritual wound like grief would include:
*Remembering the one who has died in his/her fullness (things he/she did well and not so well)
* Honoring and accepting the pain (tears) of the loss of the individual
* Remembering that the healing process leads us through the grief, not away or around it
* Learning to adapt to the major changes in life (there is no getting back to normal — whatever normal was)
* Walking through the grief with others at times and sometimes walking alone (yet always knowing that God and other trusted loved ones continue to be a resource)
* Realizing that the grief work does not get easier ­— we adjust, though, and get stronger in dealing with life.

Thanks for letting me share that with you. I am praying it helps you in your interactions with those around you who are grieving and mourning.

Peace and Love in Jesus<><

4 comments:

Tonya said...

Sara,
I LOVED reading that! Might I borrow it for my blog some time? It clarifies so many things in this confusion and pain we're walking through. I hope you have a great trip away from home. Glad you can still be in contact with us! Praying for a peaceful day in your heart!
Love,
Tonya

Sheila said...

Oh, thankyou for sharing........
I too just loved reading your words, viewing all the beautiful photo's.........touched my heart !
I've no children, Dad & Mom have gone ahead, then my dear hubby joined them 25 months ago.......
So, your music & everything, has helped start, yet another day...where Christ is my solid & only strength & divine abundant love......!
God Bless you dear Sister........

Ebe said...

I love those quotes! What great points they made. Thanks so much for helping others to see what things they can do or say to others in mourning.

I hope this week is good, quiet and peaceful.

love,
ebe

Kimberly Rose Carolan said...

Yes, we definitely need to let our grief "go public" in mourning. The problem is that many people won't let you do that, but the people who do are important to surround yourself with.

My deepest sympathy,

Kim Carolan
Author of Walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death
http://walkingthroughthevalleyoftheshadow.blogspot.com