Updated: May 3, 2021
Throughout our life, we will experience loss, and grief is a natural response. Too often, we associate grief with death, but we can grieve a variety of losses; the loss of a relationship (divorce or breakup), the loss of a job, or the loss of something else entirely.
“Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. You may experience all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to disbelief, guilt, and profound sadness. The pain of grief can also disrupt your physical health, making it difficult to sleep, eat, or even think straight (helpguide.org).”
Pathfinders Pastoral Care Ministries understands that life can be confusing; it can seem unfair and not make sense, and we are here to help you work through feelings of grief.
Acknowledge Your Loss
Everyone handles loss and grief differently. Some people may experience all five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – and some people can heal from a loss without going through any of these stages.
What’s important is that you acknowledge what you have lost. Society often tells us to “be strong,” or that grieving is a sign of weakness (especially for men), but you need to let the grieving process unfold naturally. Ignoring emotions, putting on a brave face, or moving on quickly will only cause more pain and mental distress.
“Grieving is a highly individual experience; there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and how significant the loss was to you (helpguide.org).” Healing takes time; be patient and have faith.
Take Care of Yourself Physically
When we are emotionally drained, it can reflect in our physical behaviors; being unable to sleep but having little energy or having little to no appetite. Healing emotionally includes taking care of your body.
Some days will be easier than others, but you can combat feelings of stress and anxiety by getting enough sleep every night, maintaining a balanced diet, and staying active. There’s a sense of comfort in routine, so strive to get back to hobbies or activities that bring you joy.
Seek Support & Have Faith
When dealing with a loss, isolating yourself can turn feelings of grief into depression. In these moments, “lean on the people who care about you... Rather than avoiding them, draw friends and loved ones close, spend time together, and accept the assistance that’s offered (helpguide.org).”
If you don’t have a strong social circle or you’re looking for additional support, consider speaking with a counselor. At Pathfinders Pastoral Care Ministries, our goal is to meet you where you are and guide you through the challenges by offering a confidential, objective, and non-judgmental environment as a safe place for progress.
Ecclesiastes 3:1,4 says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
With a significant loss, feelings of grief can ease over time but never truly end. Anniversaries, holidays, and milestone events can rekindle feelings and memories, but that’s part of the healing process. Healing doesn’t mean forgetting; it means accepting the loss and moving forward.
If you or someone you know is in a season of grief, we invite you to contact us and let us help you become the person God created you to be.