Anyone who has experienced grief can tell you the split instance that their life was forever changed.
To some, it felt as though time stood still. To others, it felt as though they had their breath knocked out of them.
Time is tricky in circumstances of grief…and most new grievers have a few serious questions regarding time:
“When will my grief end…when will I feel better…will I ever have the ability to feel better as time goes by?”
Sadly, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer for these questions.
I will tell you that grief has a unique timetable that is individualized. 2 people can go through the exact same grief experience and grieve differently.
Grief has to run its course.
Once one thoroughly grieves, life can be better…and one will have the ability to feel better.
After experiencing a major grief experience, I remember feeling as though grief had torn my heart out of me and was holding my heart hostage.
It seemed like I couldn’t feel better no matter what I tried to do to. I had to thoroughly go through…and honor…my grief so that I could have the ability to live and truly enjoy life once again.
Here are a few things that I feel helped me tremendously through the toughest times of grief:
He is the only One available 24/7 to listen, help, and offer encouragement and comfort. I never would have found hope or joy again had it not been for Him. Reading God’s Word is an amazing source of encouragement, inspiration, and comfort…especially the book of Psalms.
2. Family & Friends
I am so very grateful for the people who have been there for me during times of grief. Having people offer encouragement, love, and compassion is such a gift.
Going to church, a grief group, community events, and other resources is an incredible source of genuine and practical help.
Every morning and every night, something that I found helpful was to think of 5 people and 5 things about life that I was truly grateful for. This forced me to think outside of my grief and developed a deep gratitude in my heart for the people, things, and blessings still in my life.
I originally had to force myself to exercise, eat right, and go out to do activities I once enjoyed…but as I continued to be committed to these things, they eventually brought me much joy. They helped to alleviate stress and intense sadness.
These 5 things helped me so much as I navigated through the tough days of grief.
As grief hits, it truly feels as though the world & time stands still…but the fact is, time keeps moving and doesn’t wait for us.
So what can a griever do?
Be kind to yourself during grief. Honor your grief and be true to your personal grief experience.
I’ll tell you that life has a powerful ability to get much much better.
There were a few grief experiences that I was sure I’d never feel better…I truly felt that my breath had been knocked out of me…but I eventually found joy again.
I think many grievers think that we have 2 choices:
1. Grieve and be sad
2. Be happy and love life and enjoy it
I am a firm believer that it doesn’t have to be either or.
I had to develop my personal conviction that every day is a true gift. It’s up to me to unwrap it. Sure, I could choose to leave the gift of life unopened and ignore it…but it IS there every day to open and appreciate it…regardless of what I am going through. Every single day is valuable.
We never get any given day back. If we choose to not open the gift and celebrate life…and all the good remaining in life…we truly add more loss to our life in the long run.
So anytime I go through grief, I choose to honor my grief and to grieve thoroughly. I also choose to redeem the time since I understand that time is not a respecter of me.
Choose today to love and enjoy your loved ones…to set a goal or two and take baby steps to meet your goals…to think of 5 people & 5 things that you are truly grateful for every morning & night.
Time stinks when going through grief. It truly does. And it takes effort to redeem the time…but valuing time is a hidden treasure that helps so much throughout grief.
How can you choose to unwrap the gift of life from this day forward?