Grief expert David Kessler at Grief.com says"...grief is a process, a journey. It does not end on a certain day or date. It is as individual as each of us. Grief is real because loss is real. Each grief has its own imprint, as distinctive and as unique as the person we lost. The pain of loss is so intense, so heartbreaking, because in loving we deeply connect with another human being, and grief is the reflection of the connection that has been lost. Grief is not just a series of events, or stages or timelines. Our society places enormous pressure on us to get over loss, to get through the grief."But how long do you grieve for a husband of 12 years? A nephew who kills himself? A stillborn baby? A year? 5 years? Forever?
Grief and Loss
When your heart is broken, healing is a long process. In Genesis 37: 34 - 35, Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned many days when he believed his son Joseph was dead. Joseph was his baby. Joseph was his favorite son. Jacob's other children tried to comfort him, but he wouldn't let them. He wanted to be with his dead son Joseph. I recognize that feeling.
After my husband Jack died, I just wanted to be left alone to mourn. Emotionally, I fluctuated back and forth through the different stages of grieving like a kite dipping and bobbing in the wind. Denial. Anger. Depression. Acceptance.
During Year 2 of widowhood, I stayed in anger and acceptance with depression kicking in on our anniversary and holidays. In the fall of that year, I had a relapse back into pure grieving. Sharp-edged, painful sorrow returned and it felt like Jack had died yesterday rather than two years previously. Depression returned. I felt rejected and unlovable. Anger would overcome me occasionally when people would offer advice they considered to be helpful to get me through my grief.
- You need to be strong.
- If you grieve for more than a year, you need to seek help.
- Crying won't fix anything.
- You need a hobby to focus on.
- Get on with your life and things will get better.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant, and a time to uproot,
a time to kill, and a time to heal,
a time to tear down, and a time to build,
a time to weep, and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn, and a time to dance...