Everyone moves through grief differently.
Here are some things I wish I would have known…
Find Hope in Others’ Stories
If I could go back and do things differently, I would have read books that women have written about losing their mom at a young age so I could be comforted by their similar feelings and have hope for the future. I would highly encourage you to find a book about the specific loss you are dealing with.
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Attend a Grief Support Group
I wish I would have attended a grief support group sooner. You may not be ready for this right after your loss, but in hind sight, it is the best thing I did. It is not something I wanted to do, but I was feeling “stuck” five years after my mom died so I finally did. Seeking out and making yourself actually attend a grief support group is about as fun as getting yourself motivated to start a new exercise program. It is very easy to talk yourself out of it. BUT, when you actually do it and finish it, you WILL FEEL better.
I recommend GriefShare. To Find a Group, Click Here.
Maybe you’re not ready for a support group. Try journaling. Three important things happen when you journal. First, it allows you to let your emotions out in a physical way. Second, it allows you to look back and see your progress from where you were. And the last, and MOST important aspect of keeping a journal is that it allows a place to collect memories of your loved one. This is very important because as time goes on you may forget details.
Embrace the Sadness and Grief. But then…
It is a hard but true fact that life moves on and you need to do your best to move along with it. There were days I would just want to wallow in my grief. I missed my mom so much. Something that helped me when I needed to just let myself be sad was that I had a song I would listen to that reminded me of my mom. I would allow myself to play it, be sad, and remember her. But once the song was over, I would physically get up and move out of that spot and MAKE myself do something else. I’ll admit, sometimes I let myself listen to the song a few times. The key part was to have a plan of something to do after the song and sadness.
Anger is Normal
Anger is such a real emotion during the months and years of grieving. My relationship with God has certainly grown over the years, but not without some times of pure anger and frustration. For years I was angry with God. Not only did I feel he allowed my mom to die just after her 51st birthday, but she died on Monday, May 8th and we buried her the following Sunday – Mother’s Day. For years, the Mother’s Day advertisements were too much for me. I realized I had to protect myself around this time of the year. I wouldn’t dare walk down the greeting card aisle around Mother’s Day. In today’s world, laying off social media can help.
Support a Cause to Find Strength
When I was 22, about three years after my mom’s death, I decided to run a half marathon and raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (leukemia was the cancer that took her life). I raised almost $4,000 and trained hard. It was an important part of my healing process to do something good in her honor.
Two Steps Forward, One Step Back…
A good friend of mine named Joey was very supportive and helped me raise the money for my race. Some friends, including Joey, and I went out for a boat ride the day before I was to fly out for the marathon. Sadly, Joey horrifically drowned that day.
My friends encouraged me saying Joey would want me to run in the race, and reluctantly I flew out the next day. I was again angry with God. How could He allow this when I was trying my best to take a step forward and move on with my life? I will be the first to tell you that life and grief WILL throw you back, just when you think you are making forward progress.
Take Comfort in God’s Word
I am convinced through my own and others’ experiences, this life can and will be extremely hard at times. This is NOT our ultimate destination. Heaven is. It is a place where there is no pain and suffering and where we will have the greatest reunion we will ever know. Below are some Bible verses I hope can be helpful for the hard times.
I would suggest to Download the Bible App and search for “Grief” Plans.
Comforting Bible Verses
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”Isaiah 43:2
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”John 14:1-4
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control will transform our bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”Philippians 3:20-21
“For I am convinced that neither life nor death, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.” Exodus 14:14
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
“But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; You consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.” Psalm 10:14
“Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief.” Psalm 31:9
“For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.” Lamentations 3:31-33
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16