One of the best booklets I have ever read on grief came from a workshop my husband attended last fall on the subject of grief, loss, and the steps to recovery. The author, Elizabeth Harper Neeld, wrote a book entitled, "Seven Choices: Finding Daylight After Loss Shatters Your World". She wrote this is response to her own journey through the unexpected death of her young husband. She gives workshops on the subject of grief and loss and her book was given out to most everyone in NY after 9-11.
Of course there are many different losses that result in grief, but recently I have listened to or read about the grief that overwhelms people when someone they love has died. Debi from the blog, "Who Says Eight Is Enough", spoke of the young child Tuesday's death recently and how much it affected her, let alone the parents and family of this sweet child. One of my sister's called yesterday and shared that a friend of hers in the senior apt. complex she lives in was found dead in her bed. Another friend is in the process of dying from cancer throughout her body, and only a few months ago a woman my sister took care of and loved, died. Needless to say, she is experiencing alot of sadness at losing so many friends.
Grief is at times overwhelming. When our 25 year old son died 4 years ago, I remember feeling consumed by the pain of his passing. I was too ill to go to the funeral several states away, and had to stay home while my husband and older son flew by plane to the service. I felt completely empty and racked with pain...it was hard to breathe, move, or think about anything else the day of the funeral. It may sound morbid, but I asked Joel to take pictures of Kevin in the casket so that I could "see" his body. I knew it would be important for me to experience this as part of my grieving process. We also had a memorial service here at our church so all of our family could gather, celebrate his life, grieve his death, and find comfort in not only each other but the knowledge that he was with our Lord Jesus.
Life comes with loss, and from loss comes grief. We cannot avoid the grieving process ~ denying the feelings that comes from grief would be detrimental to our well-being. It is very important to work through the losses we experience and there are no rules for how long it takes. But there are choices we can make to help us through it.
For those who find themselves going through the loss of a loved one, let yourself experience and express your grief fully, keep close to those you love, and reach out for help in getting through it. Joel and I made these decisions and others to help us when our son died. It gave us what we needed to move through the process and find daylight once again.