Are you Dealing with a Devastating Loss?Dec 28, 2021
If your loss is very recent you must be experiencing many emotions.
You may have heard of the stages of grief.
The five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
The full Seven Stages of Grief proceeds: shock and disbelief, denial, anger, bargaining, guilt, depression, acceptance. Other models offer four stages of grief (reeling, feelings, dealing, healing) and six stages of grief (shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance).
Rick Warren says that there are Six Stages to Grief:
- Shock: when your world falls apart
- Sorrow: when your heart is breaking
- Struggle: when you don’t understand
- Surrender: how to experience peace
- Sanctification: how God turns bad to good
- Service: how to use your pain for good
Sometimes you go back and forth on those stages, some of them you don’t even experience because grief is very personal and there is no right or wrong way to grief.
If you are a widow, widowhood is not a disease or mental illness. It’s a fact of life, and there is no recovery. Widows & widowers learn to live with it, cope with it, and survive it. They learn to integrate their loss into the realities of their new life. With time, deep sadness and crying become less frequent, anger lessens, laughter comes back, and their focus shifts to the future.
Right now, your grief is painful, making it too easy to succumb to fear, anger, and depression. But remember that you are loved by the creator of the universe. He made you his amazing masterpiece and far stronger than your grief. For us to become who we most deeply want to be, and
what the Lord wants us to become, we must look at our life now, even if what we see doesn’t make us happy.
We are in the habit of dreading change, and it takes discipline to turn our lives around. We must be who we really are, otherwise, we will die without ever reaching the fullness of our lives, without reaching the purpose God created us for.
This is a critical time in your life, a time to reach deep into yourself. Start every morning waking up with a spirit of gratefulness to the Lord for who He is and for what you still have. There is no reason to fear because the Lord knows our future and He is already there.
Tonight will be 29 months I went to bed for the first time as a widow. Lost, alone, in shock, and so very afraid of what the future would hold.
I did not sleep, nor cry, I kept repeating: Jesus, I love you, Jesus, help me; Jesus, I need you. I wasn’t sure I&rsquo'd even make it through the night, But I did.
Life kept going on, the sun rose and set the next day, and the day after, and the day after.
My loving husband was gone. But I was still here.
The pain of those first few weeks was the most excoriating pain I have ever felt in my life. I wrote in my journal daily: I reminded myself of God&rsquo's words about how he felt for people who were broken-hearted, grief-stricken, and I asked Him to hold me tight and to comfort me: Lord, hold me tight in your arms, whisper comforting words: calm my heart, quiet my mind, renew my soul. I told Him how I felt: I cannot breathe, I cannot think, and tears are rolling down my face. Yes, there is a time to rejoice, but now is a time for mourning (those words became the lyrics of a song I wrote 21 months after my husband's sudden passing).
I felt a deep ache; my heart shattered, deep sadness.
But I told God in prayer, I want to honor you, and honor my husband’s memory. I told Him that I wanted to discover the new purpose He had for me without my husband. I repeated the prayer repeatedly.
I told the Lord: You have a good plan for me to bless me, not to harm me to give me hope and a future, paraphrasing Jeremiah 29:11.
Jeremiah 29:11 “ For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
I started thanking the Lord for the new chapter in my life he had already planned for me and that life will be good again.
But only if I chose to do so. If I wanted to have a good, purpose-driven happy life, I had to ask God for a new purpose, for direction, for wisdom, for discernment, for common sense, and start building the new life.
Tonight, if you are at the end of that dark tunnel; if you are broken, if you think you will never heal, that you will never be happy again, I offer you hope my dear friend. God is close to the brokenhearted.
(Psalm 34:18 “ The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”)
Shattered hearts do heal.
The pain will subside.
The memories will bring you more happiness than pain.
You will once again feel joy.
Life will be good again.
But only if you decide to start living again.
The sun will continue to rise. And the sun will continue to set. Whether you like it or not, time marches on. You can march with it, or you can let time, and life, pass you by.
You don’t heal with time; you heal with intention.
It won’t be easy, in fact, it will be the hardest thing you ever do in your life, but it will be so worth it. Remember that you are worth it. Jesus died on the cross for you because He thought you are worthy.
You need to make the decision that you will start living again, that you will start moving forward with your life.
Whether you stay in bed and cry all day or you get up and accomplish something is up to you. We make those decisions. We are still here and we must do what is best for us. God still has a plan for the rest of your life, make every effort to discover what it is.
Deciding to live instead of just exist is a gradual thing, but you can do it. I am doing it. Now, 29 months after my husband’s sudden passing, I don’t cry much, but I have my moments, and that's ok, too. I just can't let my grief consume me. My husband wouldn't want that. That will not honor him or God.
If something makes me feel sad, I think about the many blessings God has showered me with, and my sadness changes into gratitude.
So, can you start a new chapter in your life? Can you start healing and living again?
Yes, you can, let me give you 5 tips that helped me start and accelerate my healing process:
- Start journaling your process:
How do you understand and control your feelings? The best method I know is to begin writing in a daily journal.
How do you understand and control your feelings? The best method I know is to begin writing in a daily journal:
- Record your daily facts.
- Think about what the day was like.
- Examine your feelings.
- Consider what decisions or actions you did or didn’t take.
- Accept the Loss. Admit to yourself, your spouse is not coming back and set a regular time to remember the good times, the experiences, the memories. At first, it will be bittersweet but as times go by, the memories will turn into joy, a celebration of the wonderful times together.
3. Feel the feelings. Do not hide or run away from your feelings. Write down the thought behind your feelings. Are the thoughts behind the feelings real? If not do a reality check and change your thought. The Bible talks about renewing our minds. It is hard to change a feeling, but you can change the thought behind the feeling and the feeling will change.
Romans 12:2 “ Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God&rsquo's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
- Adjust to life without your loved one. Change your routine, plan what you would do for anniversaries, birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. so the special occasions will not hit you by surprise.
Practice gratitude. You need to take a serious look at what you have and not at what you are lacking. Do you have a home? Do you have income? Do you have your health? Etc. Make a list of reasons to be grateful and you will find many.
On my 12- week Coaching program titled Dealing with a devastating loss, I deal with all the above-mentioned aspects of grief and healing and ways to put into practice the healing tips. I offer my clients questionnaires for them to discover besides the loss of their loved one, what else did they lose? There are many levels of loss that you may not have anticipated. For me, it was obvious that I would be grieving the loss of my husband Ralph, the love of my life. What I was less prepared for was grieving the loss of a large part of myself. I had lost our past, the journey and the history that we had shared together, and the future that we had planned together. I had chosen to marry Ralph and spent the rest of my life with him. I had not chosen to be single again.
I am offering a FREE 45-minute Purpose-Inspired Breakthrough Session and I invite you to book the call.
What we’ll do on the call is dig deep into how you could apply my strategies to turn your pain into purpose: a journey from heartache to healing and hope to start Loving your life again so you can get the results you want FAST.
Click Here to find a time that suits you and book the call: