by Shanithia Kendrick
Let’s face it. This is not always the most wonderful time of the year. For some, this is a season of intense sorrow, depression, and grief. While for some it may be seasonal depression, for others, it’s what the Bible calls the spirit of heaviness. This heaviness can be brought on by the loss of anything significant. This loss is not limited to natural death. Loss can be expressed as the end of relationships (both romantic and platonic), loosing a job, or even loosing yourself. Sometimes, change happens so quickly, you lose a grip on who you are. All of this can cause a person to experience grief. This grief can be amplified during the holidays due to this magnification of spending time with family, friends, and loved ones. If you find that you are dealing with grief this holiday season, here are three things you can do to help manage your grief.
- Acknowledge your loss. The first stage of grief is denial. This stage can be brief or extended based on your own perception of the loss. When it comes to relationships, the denial stage can look like she/he will come back or hoping for a miracle, sign, or wonder to restore. The best way to acknowledge a loss is to say it out loud. Confess, so your joy can be restored.
- Make yourself available to people you trust. Often times it’s easier to be alone than to “burden” others. This can feel especially true during the holidays. But this idea that you are a burden to those who love you is a lie. I assure you that your loved ones would rather hear your sorrow than your eulogy. If the holiday is a hard time for you, identify two people close to you and ask them to check in on you. Communicate what days and times are hardest for you and let them be there for you. Don’t tell them to call on Christmas Eve and not answer. Let them know exactly how you need them to be there and trust them to follow through.
- Pray. Yep, I said it. Pray! In the midst of your valley of grief, find your lily and hold on. Your prayer doesn’t have to be structured. This isn’t the time to show off your fancy vocabulary and vast knowledge of the Bible. Stop using words and verses you don’t know and be honest with God. Lord, I hate this feeling. God, I’m mad you took _____ away from me. Lord, how could you let this or that happen to me? Empty yourself before God. After you get it all out, ask Him to help you, encourage you, and strengthen you.
If your grief becomes too intense and you reach out to loved ones, but they don’t respond, know that help is available 24/7. You can always call the Grief Share hotline at 1-800-395-5575.
Edited by Glenda Giles