Grief is an inevitable part of the human experience, stemming from various losses we encounter in life. If you are one of the fortunate ones who have never had to experience grief with death, you are the lucky one. But also remember that it is inevitable and we all will be touched by it at some point in our life. Following a fellow grievers journey, may just help you along if/when you experience a death. While the path to healing is unique for each individual, faith can play a significant role in helping us navigate this difficult journey. I'm going to chat about the importance of faith in grief and provide some tips and pointers for finding solace during such challenging times.
A question I want to ask before I start is: Are you mad at God for your loss? Also, were you a believer of God before your loss? Do you rely on your Faith to manage your grief journey?
Faith provides a sense of hope, assuring us that there is a higher purpose and plan beyond our current pain. Believing in something greater than ourselves lends meaning to our suffering and acts as a guiding light through the darkness. Where would I be without my Faith? I don't even want to know; I am so blessed to have had my Faith during my darkest days. Has it always been easy, absolutely not.
Where do you draw your strength from to practice spiritual Faith? You can engage in religious or spiritual practices that resonate with your beliefs; this can offer you a sense of support and solace during your time of grief. What does this look like? They may include prayer, meditation, attending religious services, or seeking counsel from spiritual leaders. You can also connect with community in faith. What this means is being part of a faith community can be immensely comforting during times of grief by surrounding yourself with individuals who share similar beliefs. This will provide a sense of belonging, understanding, and support. This was one of the biggest things I gave myself was attending a group with mom's who had all lost a child. This group was prayerful, thoughtful, and we studied God's word each time. I am forever indebted to our group leader Joanne and all the amazing mom's I met in this group; they truly guided me to believe in more than what we see here on earth. I also want to state that for many, going back to their "church" community is very hard and many have to switch churches because it is too much for them to navigate. I always suggest sitting in the back so you can sneak out if need be without disruption or focus on you.
Cultivating a personal relationship with a higher power. Faith can provide a platform for establishing a personal, intimate connection with a higher power. This relationship allows you to find solace, seek guidance, and express your pain, anger, and questions during grief. Trusting in this connection can help mend broken hearts and offer strength in the face of immense loss. In my journaling, you will find a lot of my journals are actually talking to God. I focused on Him and asked him my why's and all that I needed to know. This was a safe place to lay all that I felt towards God and the death's I had happen.
Some practical tips I suggest are:
Be patient with yourself: Grieving is a unique and deeply personal process. Allow yourself the time and space to experience and express your emotions authentically. It is okay to feel a range of emotions, and healing takes time.
Seek guidance when needed: Consider reaching out to religious or spiritual leaders, grief counselors, or therapists who can provide support tailored to your faith and belief system. They can help guide you through the grieving journey and provide practical advice for coping.
Adapt rituals and practices: Adapting religious or spiritual practices to suit your individual needs and beliefs can be beneficial. Feel free to tailor rituals or engage in activities that bring you solace, even if they differ from traditional customs.
Prioritize self-care: Taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually is crucial during the grieving process. Engage in activities that nourish your soul, such as exercise, spending time in nature, journaling, or practicing mindfulness.
With faith as a guiding force, grief can be transformed into a transformative and meaningful experience. Embracing the role of faith in grief allows individuals to find hope, strength, and solace even in the most challenging circumstances. By fostering a connection with a higher power and engaging in spiritual practices, one can navigate the grieving process and ultimately find comfort, healing, and renewed purpose. Remember, your faith is a beacon of light, guiding you through the darkness of grief.
One final thought for you, It's okay if you are mad at God. If you're angry with God, tell him. Lay your heart open before God. Acknowledge that even while you don't understand what's happened, you trust He can make everything work out. It took me a while to see how my circumstances could be used for God's glory and my good. Remember....WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER and with our FAITH in place.