When entering an ER, one of the first set of questions they ask is “on a scale of 1-10 what’s your pain level?” Generally, based upon the amount of discomfort and the severity of the pain a number is given. Oftentimes, it’s easier to identify physical pain rather than pain associated with the death of a love one. How does one quantify a pain that doesn’t compute on a 1-10 scale? There’s this quote that says, “Grief is as natural as crying when you hurt, sleeping when you are tired, eating when you are hungry, or sneezing when your nose itches. I’s nature’s way of healing a broken heart”.
Grief is a feel one experiences when a love one dies. The feeling is expressed in different ways such as crying, depression, withdrawal, excessive behavior, just to name a few. Grief (this feeling) is a working journey because the death of our love ones changes our lives and family dynamics forever. Learning how to deal with a “new normal” is a process. Processing pain means relying on a source of power greater than oneself. 2 Corinthians 12:10 says, “when I am weak, then am I strong.” Psalms 34:17 says, “when the righteous cry [for help], the LORD hears and rescues them from all their distress and troubles. The LORD is near to the heartbroken and He saves those who are crushed in spirit”. What gives the broken hearted the ability to get up every day after the death of our love ones? Simply, the Love of God. God’s love produces an inter-strength that allows the hurting to enjoy the memories of our love one.
The loss of a love one is traumatic. Feelings are diverse and emotions are ever-changing. The support ministry provides grieving hearts a safe and confident place to share emotions and feelings. In addition, the support ministry provides a non-judgmental environmental where participants can gain understanding from those who share similar emotions and feelings. Furthermore, participants are provided coping skills to move forward and live joyful productive lives. Remember, joy comes from God. The support ministry offers compassion, support, encouragement, and love through the guidance of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Our focus is on Good Grief. Good grief centers on positive emotions, experiences, memories, and God driven plans. Grief is good because God heals and removes pain, hurt and disappointments so that we can be what he wants us to be. Grief brings us back to God and removes any feelings or emotions that prohibits us from being the people he has chosen us to be. Through prayer combined with faith, thought, preparation, effort, and humility grief support is offered to all who are willing to accept.
Bereavement – The period after a loss during which grief is experienced and mourning occurs. The duration of bereavement depends on both how attached the person was to the person who died, and the amount of the preparation time anticipating the loss.
Grief is a response to bereavement. It’s how the survivor feels. It’s also how the survivor thinks, eats, sleeps, and makes it through the day. Stress is a big part of grief. The loss of our love ones causes great distress. One could possibly become withdrawn and inactive. Oftentimes it’s difficult for survivors to “get over” the loss of our love ones. Mourning and crying are natural patterns of expressions of the bereavement/grief. A natural response to grief is restoration of our peace of mind and social activities. Self-Awareness is the conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires.
5 Stages of Grief
Denial – is a common defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock of the loss, numbing us to our emotions. We block out and hide from the pain of the loss. Example “No, there must be a mistake”
Anger – is a masking emotion of an intense emotion that generally cannot be expressed. There is a level of resentment at family, friends, our deceased loved one for leaving us, doctors, and even ourselves. Sometimes the anger is a result of the pain we feel because our love one left us alone. Guilt is also associated with anger. Example “Why me or my family”
Bargaining – is an attempt to secretly make a deal with God, sometimes prior to death. One also after death ask what if or only if. Example “God I will forgive my mother if I can live to see my son graduate”
Depression – is an emotional state of sadness and regret causing one to withdrawn. It can be overwhelming. Example “I just want to be alone”
Acceptance – is reaching a state in life where one never gets over the loss of their love one but rather can move forward with the memories and function in life. Example “It’s time”