|"The measure of life, after all, is
not its duration, but its donation."
- Peter Marshall
You will experience liberation of your emotions when you outwardly
express your innermost fears and agony. Such sharing not only eases the
pain, but also rebuilds your trust in loving relationships with others.
Be patient with yourself.
When something hurts so deeply, itís natural
to seek relief. You want to escape from the continuing endurance test that
the struggle with grief imposes. Yet, despite your best efforts, the slow
and agonizing process of grief may seem to continue unabated, and you
become desperate and frustrated with the unrelenting sameness of your
Again, you might begin to worry something
is wrong with you, fearing you have gone beyond normal limits and lost
control. Grief, however, is a process that does not end quickly or
automatically- or even predictably. The fault is not in you. When you find
yourself doubting your capacity to recover, be patient and realize that
the grief process, while lengthy, ultimately does provide relief.
Seek new routines.
The memories of the one you have lost will be
with you throughout your life. The dates, places, and bits from the past
that remind you of your loved one will continue to have the power to evoke
Yet, as painful as these connections may
be now, they will slowly merge into a blend of pleasurable remembrances
and poignant reminders. Over time, the reminders will gradually decrease,
though the ones that remain may still at times rekindle your pain with the
same intensity as in the early phases of grief.
On the most difficult days, try to
establish some new routines. The changes need not be radical. The addition
of new rituals or activities during the holidays or on the days filled
with special meaning can help you to maintain the memory of your loved one
while still embarking on a new chapter in your life.
Let yourself feel good again.
You may have trouble imagining that you
could ever feel joy again. It almost seems wrong to laugh, have fun, or
enjoy life when someone you love has died. Some people even feel that they
must suffer in order to prove how much they cared for the one who is gone.
Happiness is never a betrayal of love,
however. Remind yourself of your reasons for living. You have a future
worth enduring for, and you are allowed to feel a renewed sense of purpose
and pleasure in your life.
Because you feel so diminished by the
death of the one you loved, you may think you have nothing to offer to
those around you. Yet your experience is of immeasurable value. You now
know the powerful truth of what it is to feel the pain of the loss of
love. You are especially able now to minister to others who face the same
You also hold the precious knowledge of
how important love can be and how vital it is as a source of joy in life-
yet how easy it is to take love for granted and overlook the abundance of
love that surrounds you. Sharing that truth can enlarge the lives of
Draw upon the power of prayer.
In your struggle with loss, you may
sometimes feel as though you are completely alone. Yet no matter how
abandoned you feel, God is present is your life. God has never stopped
loving you or the one who died. God is not passively observing your agony;
God feels the depth of your pain. God wants to share your burden of sorrow
and guide you along the pathway to healing.
In prayer you can express your sense of
desperate loss, your anger at the injustice of this sudden death, your
helplessness, and your need for Godís healing. Within your covenant with
God, you can share the darkest despair and anger and hurt in your heart
and let God lead you to hope and understanding and peace.