Losing a loved one is a tragic experience. We find ourselves under the weight of overwhelming emotions and wondering if we’ll ever feel whole again. Some of us feel numb, while others feel angry or hurt. Grief is extremely individualized and we all work through it differently. While we might want to deny our feelings or bury them under a busy schedule, it is important to face it. Through faith, we can cope with loss and work towards accepting the death of a loved one.
Why Am I Struggling with My Faith After a Loss?
One of the first things that we think when informed of a loss, is why God would take this person from us. As we work through the denial phase towards acceptance, questions like these are normal and will come through our consciousness often. Even those of us who are strong believers sometimes question why the Lord would put us through such a trying time. Sometimes we question our faith during this trying time as we struggle to make sense of the death of a loved one. Grief is an extremely powerful emotion that can confuse our feelings of faith and the Lord.
Religion and grief share a complex relationship but are both extremely important topics when it comes to processing loss. It is important to remember that the two do not need to be kept separate. What we need to remember, is that the depth of your grief does not signify the loss of faith. The grieving process is important after a loss, and religion can help provide the comfort and support we need to work through our powerful emotions.
How Can Religion Help Me Cope with the Loss?
Religion can be a great source of comfort throughout the grieving process. Our emotions after suffering a loss are strong, but our faith is even stronger. During this time, we’ll need all the support possible to lift us up and help us through the grief.
We often need to lean on our church for emotional support during this time. Often these church support groups are one of our greatest sources of comfort. They offer condolences, buy religious sympathy gifts, and even offer to help with chores as we handle the important details of the funeral. It is important to be gracious when friends offer help, instead of prideful. Never send away heartfelt religious sympathy gifts or other kind gestures. Don’t turn from those who seek to help us during this difficult time. Instead, rejoice in their selflessness and count your blessings.
Will I Ever Be Able to Accept the Loss?
Even with faith, accepting the death of a loved one is never easy. There are many emotions to process and everyone works through them at a different pace. Some of us are quickly able to cope with a loss and move on. For others, it takes us longer to work through to process. What’s important, is to face our grief head-on. With the support of our Lord, we can work towards acceptance.
What often offers comfort, is the thought that our loved one is with the Lord now. Even though we suffer through the grief process, their suffering is over. This in itself is a comforting thought. It might be a long road, but with strength and perseverance, our faith can guide us through.
How Do I Move on After Loss?
This is perhaps the most difficult thing we ask ourselves. We have invested so much time and energy into our relationship with the deceased that it can be difficult to find the strength to move on.
It is important that we work through our emotions towards acceptance. That means adjusting to life without the deceased. This is often easier said than done because it involves facing their absence head-on. In the case of a deceased spouse, this means picking up on their household chores or finding someone who will.
During this time, we also need to take the emotional energy we were investing in the deceased and transfer it to a new relationship or relationships. Your church can be a great venue for this. Instead of holing up at home, embrace in their warmth and form new relationships. The resulting companionship can be just what you need to finally move on.
How Do I Help a Friend Dealing With Loss?
If you have a friend dealing with grief and loss, showing them support is the best thing you can do for them. Through a thoughtful sympathy card or letter, you can express your condolences and show that you care. You can also buy religious sympathy gifts that offer them comfort. However, you can, simply showing that you’re there for them is a gesture that will be greatly appreciated.