Pastor David Holling
Grief is a normal response to any loss and affects the grieving person(s) physically, emotionally, and spiritually, often causing the person to think and act in ways different from their previous normal behavior. You may have heard something to the effect of “just give it some time and you will feel better.” Yes, time is necessary for the healing process, but it is only one aspect of effective grieving.
The intentional work of grief can be summarized in five basic tasks which involve specific behaviors, things to do to help yourself work through grief.
1. Recognize and accept that your loved one has died, and the harsh fact is that he/she is not coming back.
2. Experience all the emotions associated with the death of your loved one. A bereaved person achieves a healthier state more quickly by giving full expression to all the emotions they are experiencing.
3. Identify, summarize, and find a place to store the memories of the deceased person which will honor the memories of that person and make room for the bereaved to eventually move on to a new place in his/her life. Resolution of grief never means forgetting the loved one.
4. Identify who you are now, independent of your prior connection with the deceased person. Following the death of a loved one, we must rediscover who we are individually and independent of the relationship we had with the deceased.
5. Reinvest in life as an individual without the deceased person. A bereaved person has experienced deep trauma, but eventually this can be seen as an opportunity to “begin again” in a new and fresh way.
The GriefShare program helps to assist the person grieving in his or her journey back to the new normal. Sun Lakes United Methodist Church is offering a 13-week fall session that has just begun, meeting from 1:30 to 3 p.m. online via Zoom. It features relevant videos, related discussion, and personal support. The workbook and additional materials are $15, with scholarships available. If you would like to join, call the church office at 480-895-8766 to register.