By Rev Angela C Bosfield Palacious
It is so hard to cope with the shock of sudden death. How do we recover when a loved one is gone for good on this side of Jordan? It is so easy to believe that life is not worth living. It is quite normal to doubt whether one will ever smile, much less laugh again.
The lump in the stomach, chest, or throat seems only to be able to dissolve when tears flow. It is hard to fall asleep and even harder to remain asleep throughout the night. The loss of appetite may be accompanied with lack of interest in domestic duties, which creates a sense of lethargy that can slip into depression. It is often difficult to distinguish between strong grief and depression when personal hygiene is overlooked and normal routines hold no interest.
How does the heart heal? From what source can we find relief? To whom can we turn for answers? How long do we embrace the darkness before the faint glimmer of light can be seen?
If we have a relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ, then there is a parachute that opens to break the free fall. We may wrestle for a while with the why questions but in time there is the chance to find a new level of trust all over again. Some may turn away from God, but for the majority of persons this offers them an opportunity to discover new depths to God’s grace.
Here are some possible ways to survive the dark days:
Memories provide some comfort as time goes on, and that is why it is so necessary to create new memories each day that will be a joy to recall. Pay attention to details and etch them in your mind.
Have a life to which you may return when you can. Put in place now the hobbies, interests and skills that will help you to use your time creatively when you have to find your new identity without your loved one.
Maintain a circle of family members and friends, prayer partners, acquaintances who can support and encourage, and any other relationships that offer understanding, hope and consolation.
Weep when you feel like, talk when you need to, be silent when it is time to be still, be patient with the whole process.
Throw yourself on the mercy of God and cry out with all of your heart. Find whatever way to draw on your faith. Hymns, scriptures, prayers, books, films, sermons, and anything else that promote the word of God are sources of strength and comfort in ways that we cannot know until we need them.
We can only do so much on our own; in times of grief and loss we really do need the Lord.