My friend, if I have ever felt the sting of death, I feel it now. When I use the word sting, I am talking about the pain, hurt, agony and grief you feel after losing precious love ones. I, personally have cried and grieved for the past eight months over family, friends and even co-workers who have died throughout this time frame. The grief I experienced literally took a toll on my health. My voice was almost a whisper, I felt fatigue, I developed a hacking cough and body fever. My doctor put me on antibiotics and as I began to feel better, I wondered, “have I been grieving too long?”
There are many others beside myself who are experiencing grief and death like never before. Ask those of senior years, as I have. They will confirm that in all their years, today’s death rate among family, friends, coworkers, and Christian brethren far exceed anything that they have ever seen before. Years ago it may have been every few years that someone you personally knew died; today, it’s every few months, weeks or even days.
So how does one handle so much death and grief? The solution is not to become deeply depressed yourself and began feeling hopeless. The solution for me came through my faith in Christ and His written Word. As I began to read the Bible, I gained strength and developed a few simple steps and reminders that helped me deal with the sting of death and grief that I faced.
1. Gain peace knowing your love one was saved. Jesus said, “I am the Resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet
shall he live:” (John 11:25) The believer will never experience eternal death because we will reign with Jesus forever.
2. Stay close to family and friends for support. We who are amongst the living need each other to encourage and uplift one another during our time of grief. Do not isolate yourself from others; this is a time when fellowship is important even if you are quiet. Also utilize your Pastor and/or church
leaders for help.
3. Think on good things concerning your love one. Think about the good times you enjoyed together and the accomplishments in his or her lifetime. Scripture teaches in Philippians 4:8, “…whatever is true , whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about
such things.” (NIV)
4. Sing the hymns of Zion. Continue to praise and worship God; trust Him. Remember, “…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
5. Pray for yourself and other family members. Ask God for strength and to comfort all those who grieve for the loss of your love one. Also pray that grief will not overtake them.
6. Get involved with community, church or other wholesome and healthy activities when you feel ready. You may need an outlet to put your mind on other things.
7. Seek Christian Counseling for periods of extended grief and/or depression that may cause difficulty in performing your normal daily activities.
Report any physical symptoms to your doctor.
May the peace of God be with you my friend during your time of grief.