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How to Deal with Loss

Difficulty and loss can bring great grief into the life of a family. But there are ways to deal with loss.

A.  Loss – and the Grief It Brings.

 

There is no escape from loss in this life. All people of all cultures will experience the loss of something or someone they value. The emotional response to loss is grief. Grief affects every part of who we are; body, mind, soul, and spirit. It can cause the body and mind to slow down. Likewise, grief can cause the soul and spirit to become as dry as a desert. Grief is a strong emotion that often causes people to doubt self, others, and even God.

We often express grief through tears, restlessness (poor sleep), and depression. But grief is personal and people grieve in different ways. Some grieve deeper and longer than others. Although we vary in the way we express grief, healthy grief has four parts:

  1. Accept the loss.  Admit that what happened is reality.  For example, do not pretend that the person who has died is still there or nearby. Get past the problems of denial or anger.
  2. Admit the pain. Grief is normal when loss occurs. Do not try to deny or hide your pain. Cry tears of sorrow. Tell God and others how much you hurt. Realize that it will take time for your wounds to heal. People may need to grieve for a few days or a few years, depending on the loss.
  3. Adjust to the loss. Turn from the past to the present and the future. Do what you must to continue without the one you have lost and with the ones who remain.
  4. Form new relationships. Open your heart to meet new people. Make new friends and form new relationships. Plant a new flower or a new tree where the old one died.

B.  Believers have hope during any kind of loss.

There are many kinds of loss: barrenness, death, divorce, health, freedom, security, money, or position. Believers can face any kind of loss with hope. In this life, we will face tribulation and grief but our faith in God brings hope. When Paul spoke about death, he said, "Brothers, we do not want you to… grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope" (1 Thess. 4:13). With God, we have hope in this life and beyond the grave.  There is no hardship can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:28-39).

 

The content of this article is used by permission of "Faith & Action Series" and Dr. Wayde Goodall.  Please learn more about them at www.faithandactionseries.org and www.worldwidefamily.org.