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Lessons on Grief

Grief has shaped my life into something entirely different than what it once was. There is a much more serious side to me now. I can't help it. Inside there is a piece of me that will never be there again. A hole remains in my heart. I've always felt things profoundly but now I feel things even more. But the flip side of this is that I also have learned the blessing of each day. I now know that no day is promised to me. Each day is a gift. My heart is also aware of the pain of others. There are dark and difficult days. The pain may feel so endless, so impossible to move through. The nights are lonely and challenging. Some days are easier than others. And there are moments when all the pain from grief comes back to haunt you. Tears well up in your eyes and course down your cheeks. But then there are the memories that fill your heart and mind with happiness. These are the stories that keep you going. They remind you of the person who no longer lives here. But they remain in your heart.

I went through training to become a certified grief educator because I wanted to give back to others who were grieving. Over and over again when people shared their pain we were asked the same question. "What was your loved one's name?" Then the next question was "How long ago did they die?" These two questions are such powerful questions for people facing the pain of sorrow. First of all, it allows them to name the person they love so much, and secondly, it helps us understand how long they have been facing the death of their loved one. These questions don't solve the loss but they give meaning to their pain. It helps us as professionals understand where they are in their journey with grief and it gives us a name for the person they love so deeply. These names are still so important to these individuals. They will always be important.

I can't help thinking about grief and loss. It transformed every facet of life. The changes are so catastrophic. It is a difficult journey to move through. Everyone else is going through their life and you feel like you are frozen in time. It is super difficult to move on. It feels like you are army crawling through a dark forest. It doesn't seem like you will ever see light again. Life feels so heavy. Every part of your being hurts: physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. It is such a difficult journey.

My journey through grief has filled me with the desire to minister to others who are going down this path. So much of my sorrow was faced alone. I want to come alongside those who are grieving and help them know that they are not alone. Every day is such a struggle and just listening and allowing them to share can be so healing.

Maybe you are facing the loss of a loved one. My prayer for you is that God will fill you with the exact comfort that you need today. May He provide exactly what you need to make it through the day. And may God provide you with something that will give you a reason to get up in the morning again.


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