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How to deal with the grieving process

By Tina Y. Gerber-McCurley Grief is a natural response to death, yet the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. During the grieving process you will experience all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, starting with shock, anger, guilt and sadness. The pain of grief can also disrupt your physical health, making sleeping difficult, causing lack of appetite, or even interrupting your usual ability to think straight.

The anniversary of my Mother's death has just passed, and I still struggle. Losing someone you love is certainly one of life's biggest challenges. The grief, in various ways, may linger on for days, months or even years.

My cat, Muffler, is now 17.5 years old and has been sick. She is eating well and loves to snuggle, but she has lost so much weight, and she can no longer hold her bowels or urine, nor even walk properly. I've had to make some tough choices.

Whatever the cause of your grief, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain and help you come to terms with it, and eventually move on with your life. Firstly, one should definitely, find someone to talk with.

Grieving is a very individual experience; there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and there are many factors to consider, including: your personality, coping style, personal life experience, and your faith. When grieving, it's also important and necessary to take care of yourself. The stress of any loss can diminish your energy and emotional reserves. This needs to be replenished carefully and deliberately.

When I did palliative care in the community, I became aware it was important for anyone to make a conscious effort to know and have an understanding that our time on earth is limited. This is not to cause fear but to give opportunity to live in wisdom.

For many, death is scary because it's surrounded by so much mystery, so most people don't like to think or even talk about it. Even though death is inevitable, and everyone will die, many still live in dread, anxiety and fear, especially if they have no security in regards to loss. For those with a history of depression, the grieving process may be more challenging, it can be hard to reconcile.

The Bible contains many verses about death, grief, loss, and also verses about hope and comfort. It demonstrated how people struggled with these very real life experiences, before the blessing of Christ, and then illustrates the security we have now, as we learn about God's love for us. Understanding what scripture says about life and death is important, as it establishes security for those who choose to believe what God offers there in Christ. This makes it so much easier to begin the healing process around loss.

Look to God for comfort. The Bible has answers to all the seasons of life. Through it, God can help us make sense of tragedy and help us understand death isn't the end for those who believe in Jesus.

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