The holidays can be challenging for those who have experienced loss. A deep sadness clouds our minds, hardens our hearts, and steals our joy during a season that is meant to represent peace and hope. Grief is not an event where pain can be switched on or off, but instead a process we all must walk through to experience healing. The grief process can take years and it cannot be avoided without feeling bitter, empty, or numb.
The grief stages usually consist of denial or shock, release of emotions, guilt and anger, and then acceptance. A healthy grief process involves true friends who provide support and love through the grieving process. Such friendships will ultimately help the person who has experienced the loss to reorganize and reconnect with the world.
When I lost my brother to suicide, I didn’t grieve properly because I was focused on the pain and void in my life. I drowned myself in work and bad behaviors to avoid the process completely. I was left with a hardened heart, extreme anger, and depression. It wasn’t until years later, when I focused on God and His purpose for my life, that I started to heal properly and accept my brother’s death. When I lost my mother to cancer a few years ago, the grief process was managed by my faith in God and His plan, friends who loved me, and knowing that my grieving was going to be a process required to heal my broken heart.
Psalm 23 says God will comfort those who are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. During the days and weeks of mourning, God will never abandon us.
Ginger Turner is the Founder and Director of Warriors for God Ministry. She has a Master’s Degree from Liberty University in Marriage and Family Therapy, is a Board Certified Mental Health Coach, and a Christian Life Coach. Ginger, her husband, and three children reside in the Hill Country of Texas where she teaches and counsels couples, young children, and teenagers. Her focus is on enriching marriages and families, suicide awareness, and coaching the community on Whole Body Wellness. Ginger loves the Lord and lives every day for Him, serving Him in whatever capacity He sets on her path.