Should we grieve?
The Bible says we should cry at birth and rejoice at death. So should we grieve?
Webster’s Dictionary gives grief the following definition, “Deep and poignant distress caused by or as by bereavement.” It also calls it suffering. So should we grieve?
First, let me say I believe there is a difference in sadness and grief. The above definition calls grief distress and suffering. To me this is much more than sadness. According to the dictionary sadness and sorrow are associated with grief. But I know from my experience when my mom died, I was very sad. At times I am still sad when I think of her being gone, but I am not depressed, or hurt. Usually these thoughts of sadness just lead me into happy memories of when I had mom with me, and thoughts of her being happy and well in heaven (being a Christian).
But what of those who grieve for months, or even years, unable to function well because of the loss of a loved one? Is this good, or even normal? I think not!
I believe there should be a time of sadness and heavy heartedness right after the loss of a loved one, but in the long run we hurt ourselves and those around us when our grief continues to reduce our function for too long a time. Also long term grief can lead to all kinds of health problems, from depression to pain of all kinds. It is important to help those who are still suffering from loss after a month or two.
How can we help? There are many ways to help those who are suffering from deep grief without resorting to therapy or drugs. First we can be there for them. We can help them remember the good times they had with their loved one. Keep coming back to the good memories, as these are the healing memories. Let them know, especially in a death, that the loved one will always be with them in the wonderful memories they left behind.