Grief effects everyone. What differs between us is how we process our way through it. Many of you may know there are five stages of grief and each one has its place.
The one thing many people may not know about grief is that you may not just feel it for the loss of a person, you may feel it for other losses as well. Loss of a job, relationship, commitment, home. There are so many losses one can become overwhelmed in their grief.
The last few weeks have been quite difficult for me as I've been navigating the waters of grief. I lost a good friend, she was the matriarch of our church and I know that she is in heaven hanging out with Jesus, but it still causes me grief.
Additionally, one of our cats has been diagnosed with a disease that has no cure. He has been having a rough time and the meds did not seem to be working. He just started turning the corner and we can see a light at the end of the tunnel. We know that he will not be around as long as our other cats but we still have some time with him.
Lastly, I have been helping some family members with a situation and had to withdraw. I did not realize how much withdrawing from this commitment was going to impact me. I love my family and this was a very difficult thing for me to do. When I gave them my decision I originally felt relief, but then I experienced something I was not expecting to... grief. I had to grieve this along the other things in my life.
So how do we get through when we are overwhelmed with grief? The first thing is to recognize that is what you are feeling. If you do not recognize it, then you will think the emotions you are feeling are tied to something else and you may not ever deal with the grief.
Secondly, allow yourself to feel it. Many times we want to shut down negative emotions and put on a happy face. As difficult as it may be you need to allow yourself to feel. There have been times when I have felt so much it filtered into other areas of my life and I had to let others know I was dealing with grief and apologize for taking it out on them.
The most important thing I did was allow God to comfort me. There were days I could not even think of words and all we would do is sit together. For those of you who do not know God this closely, I understand the skepticism you may have, however, I felt peaceful and comforted in those times in ways no one else could comfort me. I could feel His presence surround me and I felt loved and cared for. He did that for me every day.
No matter the grief you are facing I encourage you to not face it alone. Reach out to God, a trusted friend, or you can also reach out to one of our mentors and we can help walk you through your grief so that you deal with it and come out the other side of it.