Bereavement refers to the loss of a loved one while grief is our
reaction to that loss. Grief is intense anguish or acute sorrow
which can be so painful that the grieving person often looks for
ways to escape from it rather than experience it as a process. It is
said that we are most healed of a suffering only by experiencing it
to the full.
The best way
to journey through the grieving process more completely and emerge victoriously
as a better person is to do it under the guidance, encouragement and friendship
of others best
suited to give such support.
Be as it may,
listed below are some general tips which can be of help to a grieving person who
has just lost someone dear to him/her:
When the hustle and bustle of the
funeral activities are over, give yourself space to relax and reflect.
First focus on what are necessary
to keep you and your family going in the “survival mode”. Accept whatever
practical help that is offered from friends. This will help you regain or
preserve your basic sense of purpose in life. Do not be afraid to verbalise
Take one day at a time. Do not
attempt to see what you will be one year from now. Anticipate that this will
be a difficult time in your life.
Try to be patient with changes in
your emotions. Do not be upset with your own feelings or the unusual
behaviour of your children.
If your mind plays back the scene
of the loss over and over again, try some distractions like singing a
worship song or speaking to someone who is more likely to lift you up than
pull you down.
Guard your health. Grief
substantially reduces one’s immunity system. Grieving also saps up a lot of
your energy. Take rest when you feel weak.
Get in touch with those who are
willing to connect with you to minister to you and hear you talk about what
you are going through. Listening to other widow/widower stories will also
help reassure you that you are not alone.
Re-establish regular relationships.
Letting relationships slide or not going back to church will make it more
difficult to return to your friends.
Stay active. Do not allow fear to
paralyse you from returning to some of your normal activities.
Eat well-balanced meals. Avoid
alcohol or any other means to drown your grief.
Your grief or loneliness is not an
excuse to sin. Flee from temptations to entice you into ungodly means to
cope with your sorrow.
In the initial stages of the
grieving process, do not make major decisions that will affect the rest of
your life. Let enough time pass to see things more clearly before you
Writing down your thoughts in a
journal will help soothe a troubled soul. If you have a religion, stay close
to God and do not stop talking to Him about everything you are going
Growth and strength come from
weathering the storms of life although we do not choose to go through such
seeks to provide a supportive role in journeying alongside grieving persons, and
same time, facilitate involvement and care for
grieving persons by