As I shared last Sunday, we have all been affected by a multitude of losses this year, as a country and as individuals. Here are the suggestions I offered Sunday on how to process our grief:
Find ways to fully express the loss and what it means to you. Seek out people you trust and talk to them about what you’re grieving and how you feel.
What you cannot say out loud, write. Keep a journal. You can write a letter to someone whether you send it or not; write a letter to God asking for guidance; write a love letter to yourself.
Cry as often as you need to. Crying is cleansing. It keeps our emotions flowing. It also shows you’re a sensitive, caring, vulnerable human being. Here is the segment I mentioned from The Late, Late Show in which Reggie Watts’ honest grief about racism provided a cathartic opportunity for us all.
Find balance in your thinking. You have the power to redirect your thoughts when the pain is too much. This is especially important when it comes to what grief expert David Kessler calls “anticipatory grief” – that foreboding sense of something bad approaching. If images of the worst come to mind, choose instead to think of the best. You can imagine a glorious outcome instead of a frightening one.
Create balance in your life, especially when you’re working on healing difficult emotions. Use your creative imagination to make your days and your life more enjoyable. Plan something fun. Learn a new skill or hobby. Ride a bike, take a walk, do a jigsaw puzzle! Reach out for life, and it will greet you with open arms.
Most importantly, know that you are never alone. God is a constant presence in you and with you – a source of strength and comfort in your very being.
Although times of loss are the most difficult, they are also the most transformative. Even in the depths of despair, we can know that somehow, good will come from this. Hold to that truth and know that the power and presence of God within will see us through.