Grieving: The Pain and the Promise

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Yvonne Lee, a Methodist pastor whose son Sam was awash in blood after a murderous mugging in Indonesia. What happened next is the miracle of miracles that Christians worldwide celebrate every Easter. Several women arrived to wash the body for burial, only to find the garden tomb empty. A living Jesus, the sacred text proclaims, had emerged. And that is what believers hope for all humanity when they sing their hallelujahs and, with joyful hearts, add the refrain — Christ is risen. Alissa Parker, left, and her husband, Robbie Parker, on Dec. She tried to bargain with the Almighty: She would give up her own life for a chance to touch and speak with Sam — even for a fraction of a second — one more time.

Robbie Parker at a memorial for his daughter Emilie in Lanterns are released for the Sandy Hook victims, She would want me to be the best mom for my family and the best person I could be. Forgiveness is hardly a one-time occurrence, she says. I felt Emilie. Nothing could be clearer or stronger. The Rev. Too many Americans want to keep death at bay and let the hospitals, mortuaries and cemeteries deal with it, he says.

Extremities: The Pain and Promise of Divorce

When believers lose loved ones — especially via violent death — they often feel despair and doubt, the Presbyterian pastor says. Food is love: Do speak with food. Even if the grieving are not eating, they have guests who will. And at some point they will eat a bit and how lovely to have a line-up of frozen meals and other necessities during the days and weeks of numbness that follow.

Send help: Do contact other friends and religious or community organizations close to the family that might create a regular list of people who bring over food, who help write thank-you notes, who offer to do errands or grocery shop or organize bills. Life stops entirely for grievers in those early weeks and months but, alas, it does not stop for the world. Help them navigate through the bleak upcoming weeks and months in practical ways. Listen well: Do read their emotional signals. If you come by and she just wants a hug and cannot speak, don't push to her speak.

Just sit with her. Don't grill her with questions to fill the awkward, aching silence.

Grief Quotes, stories and poems to heal your heart. - Page 41

Be still. Be there. Pain and the Brain: Do respect her boundaries. If she starts remembering something about her loved one and speaks it, then shuts down immediately from overwhelming pain, NEVER push or tell her "It's important that you talk about him and remember him. Don't make her feel guilty that somehow she's doing it wrong.

Think of your friend first: Do not launch into your own grief story unless you sense that told gently, sensitively, it will offer something worth hearing. You may have to wait months or years for it to be useful to your friend. Remember, this is about your friend's needs and story, not yours. Grief's Maid of Honor: Do not get sucked into some weird high schoolish competition about who's staying at her house, who she's calling back, who she's letting take the kids out. Different friends offer different strengths. Let her decide which ones to take from you and don't let your own insecurities get in the way.

Suicide Alert: Do push if you feel she is sinking into a dangerous abyss of isolation and depression. If she doesn't return your calls and you are close friends, go over there and knock until she lets you in. If you had a good relationship before this loss, and she knew and trusted you before this, lean on that. If she's not talking to anybody and nobody has seen or heard from her, get in there. If someone dies young, setting up a scholarship or fund in their name can feel comforting to the family.

Or you can ask people to donate, in lieu of flowers, to a charity chosen by the family. No giving up: Do not give up on her. Do not call three times, e-mail four times and assume, well, she'll call when she's ready. There's a balance you must strike between respecting her boundaries and abandoning a friend in desperate need. Use your instincts to figure it out.

Even though we know you mean well and are genuinely trying to help and that in fact, many of these sentiments may be true, they're just not helpful and worse, can cause real pain. So please, do not say the following:. Hang in there.

You are brave. You are not alone although this journey is deeply lonely. You are loved. You will not always feel this way. We honor the pain and memory and life-altering experience you are having. We are here to help you. We are not mind readers so we need to communicate if you need something.

Nobody is judging you. We are heartbroken for you. No matter what, we will walk beside you. It is hard to know what to say, and I've found the best IS to simply be still or to let the grieving person know: "There are no words, but I'm here for whatever you want to talk about.

Bereavement Resources

I lost two pregnancies. With the first loss, I did tell people and most people were very supportive. I belonged to a Mother's Group and I was given many frozen and fresh meals, so I could recover from my miscarriage and still feed my toddler my husband although he would have done the cooking, after working a full day, if there had not been food and myself. You can have a perfect baby next time!

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With my second miscarriage, I only told a few people; those I knew would be gentle with me and my family. My closest friend in the world lost her husband a few years back. She and her son were devastated. She prefers NOT to have people in her house, so the day after his death he had requested no wake or funeral she came to my house, we went out to lunch, we shopped a little, we sat quietly and cried, we talked less than most days, and we gave her and her son dinner.

This has been repeated many times in the last few years. I let her bring up her husband as she wishes and I stay silent if she doesn't. I do want to add, be careful with suggesting religious suggestions or even religious "help. I had no desire to talk to a priest or any clergy, I can talk to God on my own. If you don't know the grieving well enough to know their religious preference or if they are simply not religious then leave that option alone.

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It could do more harm than good. Let the grieving person take the lead, of course, with intervention if you think they may harm themselves. I really can't say it better than the author. Good job. I agree with many of your ideas of what not to say, but in some situations I'd rather have people say the wrong thing than say nothing. People will tell me that they are sorry about the loss of my mother and I will reply back with "Ah well, she was pretty sick and the cancer was terminal so it was for the best in the end.

FIVE FANTASTIC MINUTES OF HAPPINESS - The Pain and the Promise of Grieving.

I know that they mean well and I know that I have my own part in this. I thought that talking about my grieving process with my friends would be easy but I find it much easier to talk to complete strangers about it. It's almost more pressure being with people that I know than either being on my own or with strangers. Strange times but great article and share! Thank you. I have found grief lunges unexpectedly-a small thing will trigger a remembrance of that person, and then the grief sets in again.

In may case xtreme guilt as I was not with my brother when he died or while he was dying. I woke up thinking of him on the night he died. I will never let anybody I know die alone. I think I was flakey back then-I can't accept my own excuses. I do not expect to ever get over this grief completely. It will revisit me for the rest of my life. I just get sad, reflect, cry maybe, remember how stupid I was, eventually get distracted by my own life, go on.

I lost my dad at 12 and my mom at 13 and I've had to move homes and change schools more than you can count because nobody could understand what I was going through and they said all the wrong things they possibly could to me. It made me see people for what they really are, but that also means I threw myself into solitude because I hate company , I hate being social ,I hate going out. I don't want anything to do with human beings because when I needed them the most they were not there for me. Even today staying with my uncle i hear about how unwanted I am and it's basically implied in everything they do and say that I'm a burden for every one around me.

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