Letting Others Help Us Grieve

One temptation I’ve had on this journey of suicide grief is to isolate myself from people. Some days I feel too sad to be around those who are glad. And pretending is hard.

I’ve also felt tempted to say “fine” when people ask, “How are you doing?” But I don’t want to lie.

And for those who haven’t known that my loved one died or how and ask, “What’s new?” I’m tempted to say “nothing” instead of being honest and answering, “My heart’s breaking; here’s why…”

I’ve discovered as I resist these temptations that just as drawing near to God during times of grief brings comfort, so does drawing close to people–especially those who know the Lord.

God has used so many people to bring me comfort. Their words, their hugs, their beautiful sympathy cards, their taking the time to listen and to pray, their crying with me and for me have so touched my heart. Because of this, I don’t feel alone in my grief.

As I’ve been transparent about my thoughts and feelings, others have done the same with me. One lady that I was honest with about my grief admitted that in her family there were three suicides, and she herself had battled depression and suicidal thoughts. Because I now know this, I feel bonded with her. She understands how I feel.

A friend at my Bible study said, “I know the pain of a sudden, tragic death. My brother was murdered years ago.” I’ve known her for a long time, but didn’t know this fact about her life. She also understands my grief.

Yes, opening up about tragedy has caused others to be open about their heartaches—about their grief and loss. Instead of just having people help me in my grief, we lift up each other. We are connecting at our points of pain.

Whenever I’ve pondered 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, I’ve thought mostly of me comforting others. But these days I’m on the receiving end of people comforting me with the comfort they’ve received.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

And I’m also still on the giving end. As I receive comfort from God directly or through His people, those with new griefs and losses cross my path.  And God gives me the privilege of offering them comfort—even in the midst of my own grief.

Somehow that brings relief to my grieving heart.

God is so good.

Do you agree?

To hear more about Letting People Help Us Grieve on the “Hearts Set Free with Elaine” radio show, go to www.wtis1110.com and press “Listen Live” at 5:30pm EST on Saturday, April 21, 2012.

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About elainecreasman

I am a freelance writer and inspirational speaker. Since 1986 I have led the Suncoast Christian Writers Group.
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2 Responses to Letting Others Help Us Grieve

  1. Lynn Wesolek says:

    Oh Elaine, you say it all so well! We don’t have to be on this journey alone, and for me, celebrating my mother’s life despite my sadness has brought me closer to God. Thank you! My prayers continue for you and your path.

  2. Debbie Nelis says:

    Dear Elaine,
    Thank you once again for your open transparent sharing. There were so many times after the loss of my precious son, Nick (www.inthenickoftime.org) that I felt I could not even get out of bed, let alone face people. But our “God is a ever present help in time of trouble.” His tender voice would say “I will never leave you or forsake you; I will go with you to the end of the world…” Truly the loss of a loved one to suicide feels like “the end of the world.” Suicide is a depth of grief that only those who have experienced it can know. As I write that, I hear the Lord saying, “as is a long painful death to cancer or an unexpected murder; as with your friend. Death is the enemy that strikes in every life, and yet we are always shocked and horrified by it. My dear friend in Indiana just lost her oldest son, to this horror of suicide, he was only 30 yrs olds. The shock alone in the beginning is as if you are walking through a terrible nightmare, your mind seem incapable of digesting the reality of what has happened. If it were not for the Lord walking with me, I am sure I would have collapsed under the weight of my grief. My dear cousin also lost her battle last week, she, was 57yrs old. Life is an ebb and a flow, with great joys as babies are born, graduations are planned, and races are ran and won. But at the same time others leave us suddenly, unexpectantly, tragically. We are always unprepared for an untimely exit, we don’t understand, and all of our plans and dreams for them are left unfulfilled. We stand in their room, and know that their life force has moved on, we since the world is a little colder for their absence. It is our responsibility to pack- up their things, and our heart aches. Time passes, we attend events were we planned for them to be, sometimes we even leave an empty seat, we feel their absents and our loss. We sigh, we cry, and learn to laugh again. With Gods help we allow ourselves to heal. But most of all we remember them.
    Forever Nicks’ Mom
    Debbie

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