Have you ever been through something so terrible…
That you honestly wondered if you would be able to put one foot in front of the other?
I truly hope you haven’t!
But if you have, you know what I’m talking about.
The hurt…the heaviness…the gigantic cloud of sadness that won’t leave you alone!
When you have been through grief like this, people will try, with good intentions, to say things that they hope will make you feel better.
Unfortunately, nothing anyone says will make sadness suddenly go away.
People may also try to tell you how to handle your grief…
because they’ve been there…
they know what you’re going through.
EVERYONE HANDLES GRIEF DIFFERENTLY.
And you may even handle grief differently with each tragic situation that sadly comes your way.
Less than a year before my daddy died, my brother was in a horrific boat accident.
The doctors basically told my mom, my sister, and I that he wasn’t going to make it through the night.
He had a severe brain injury, on top of many other injuries that made it seem like there was no hope.
But, there’s always hope, isn’t there?
I remember us walking through the lobby to get outside so we could call dad and let him know what the doctors said.
One minute, my mom was behind me…then, when I looked back, I found her on the floor…not able to take another step.
I’m sure she doesn’t remember this. I’m sure she was in a blur.
[Real quick, let me tell you about my wonderful momma.
She always, ALWAYS, kept us safe…
She always drilled important safety practices into our heads so we were smart out in public or at someone else’s house…
She was fiercely protective, but not a hovering type of protective. We all just knew that if anyone messed with us, they’d have mom to deal with.
No one wanted that.
The woman turned into a lioness when it came to her cubs.
My siblings and I ALWAYS knew we had a momma who loved us more than we could ever imagine…and we felt that love, too.]
So, when my brother got into this accident, her body and mind didn’t know what to do.
So, she just stopped and fell to the floor.
I went back, I picked her up, and kept moving forward.
I felt strong…I guess because I needed to be for her.
She is always strong for us. ALWAYS.
Yes, I was still immensely sad…stricken with grief…could NOT imagine losing my little brother! I didn’t want to imagine it.
But, something in my body told me to be strong…I had to be strong.
To make a very long, hard, excruciating story short, my brother LIVED! People from all around started praying, and before I even left that night, I KNEW my brother was going to make it. (Possible post to come about the POWER OF PRAYER!)
He continued to improve after that, and after 3 months, he got to come home!
I was strong enough through that time to be able to pick my mother up and be the rock for her to lean on (NOT ONLY ME! She also had her husband, my sister, and friends/family).
But, when my daddy died, as I’ve said before, I was the one falling to the floor…I am the one that can’t remember a lot of details…I was broken. I thank God that I had my husband there to pick me up and let me lean on him, or I don’t know what I would’ve done. (Ladies, if you have a husband like mine, who is always there to pick you up when you’ve fallen, supports you, protects you, loves you, helps you, and is a good father to your children, then make sure you tell him how much you appreciate him…how much you love him…how you couldn’t do it without him…Because we aren’t promised tomorrow, and he needs to know TODAY how you feel…I could do better with this myself.)
My mom, on the other hand, was strong for us kids. We all knew she was devastated as well. They may not have been married anymore, but they were still good friends and had been in each other’s lives for over 30 years.
I know it wasn’t easy…but she handled that grief differently than her grief with my brother.
They mean well…
The people saying these words, and telling you they know exactly how you feel…they truly mean well.
But their way of going through the grieving process is not your way.
Some may close up…be silent…stay in bed and just be with their sadness.
While others may try to keep busy…keep their minds off of their grief and try to get as far from their sadness as they possibly can.
I was more the latter with my grief after unexpectedly losing my sweet daddy when I was 27 years old.
I didn’t sleep the night of his passing.
And I was up early the next morning, on the phone, starting the plans for his funeral and figuring out what I needed to do as far as his “estate”.
I didn’t really eat until my husband, mom and step-father brought food and persistently encouraged us to eat.
I lived on Kureg coffees that day.
I had to stay away from my sadness…keep running…or it would devour me.
So, I wouldn’t go to someone who just lost a loved one and say, “Don’t sleep…stay busy…drink a lot of coffee…and don’t eat too much…that’ll help!”
No, that’s how I handled it (the first day)…they may want to be with their sadness and think about their loved one…that’s okay, too!
The one thing I will tell anyone dealing with grief is, “God is with you through this. He will help you. He will make you strong. I’ll pray for you.”
I will say this because I know it to be true for everyone, even if the person I am telling doesn’t want to hear it at that time.
You may remember from my testimony post that I said God was with me even though I didn’t give Him the time of day. I didn’t pray to Him during that time.
But, someone, somewhere, was praying for me and my family. I know it!
So, what He gave me through that time, without me realizing it, was a strength. This strength was different from my strength with my brother.
The strength with my brother was my own, given to me by God. The strength with my dad was someone else.
Did you catch that?
My strength with my dad’s passing was my husband. I am pretty sure I wasn’t the easiest to deal with during that time, but my husband never let me know I was hard to deal with. He was just there for me. He took time off work, he dealt with the kids, and he comforted me. He helped me in planning the funeral for dad (I never thought something like picking music would be so hard). When I would randomly cry, he would hug me. There is something about a hug from him that makes everything around me just…better…in that moment…I am in the protective, strong arms of my husband.
I have actually thought before that God knew I would need him in my life…not just for my dad’s passing, but everything! I honestly don’t know where I’d be without him, and I don’t want to even imagine it.
Because of God, and my husband, I never broke completely. I could have, but I didn’t…He wouldn’t let me break. God is THE COMFORTER…THE GIVER OF PEACE & STRENGTH.
I, with my husband and family, planned my daddy’s funeral and we all handled his affairs. It wasn’t easy…We cried, we laughed, and we thought back on times with our wonderful daddy/father-in-law (my husband loved him as much as I did.)
I (we) got through it, not because of words said TO ME (us), but because of words prayed to God FOR me and my family.
What you can do…
If someone you know has lost a loved one, just offer to be there…LISTEN…hug them…let them cry…and, most importantly, PRAY!!
Let them work through their grief in their own way.
Below, I have included scripture for those going through a grieving process and just need comfort…a comfort that only God can provide in times like this.
The person trying to be there for someone else, you can use the scripture as well. Send it to them…show it to them…read it to them…However you want to do it.
I pray that if you’re going through grief, that God will wrap His loving arms around you, and that you can feel Him there with you, and He provides you comfort, peace, and strength.
Love you all.
The Lord is near…
No more tears, sorrow, or pain…
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. -Revelation 21:4
He heals broken hearts…
God is our strength…
God is our comforter…
He is the giver of peace…
As children of God, we are not as others who have no hope…Heaven, where there is no more sorrow, pain, or tears, is where we will all meet again- But, you can still be sad…not for your loved one in Heaven, but for yourself! (We are not promised tomorrow…Make sure to share the gospel with friends, family, and even strangers, so we may all meet again…This goes for me as well)
Lean on Him…Believe He can help you!
Grieving is tiring..exhausting…to the mind, body, and spirit. Go to God…let Him give you rest.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:28-30
NEVER STOP PRAYING!
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:6-8