I was recently asked for excerpt from my book Greif: Helping Christians Coping with the STORM of Loss by the website www.Grieving.com, that provides resources to individuals dealing with the loss of a loved one. I shared the following with them from my book:
"Grief is a reality that each of us will cope with more than once in our lifetime. The loss of a loved one, a friend, a pet, our home, our job, or maybe divorce. However, understanding how grief affects us will help us cope with the devastation to our emotional and even physical lives. Understanding the stages of grief is essential to developing healthy coping skills for living a successful life."
With recent events surrounding the death of Kobe Bryant, and other high-profile individuals such as Jim Lehrer who many of us grew up watching on the news, local Cincinnati politician Todd Portune, and actor Stan Kirsch grief has once again moved to the forefront of the America thinking. However, the reality is that with these famous people having public funerals and major new coverage we will often over look those around us who are suffering from the loss of a family member to cancer or heart attack, loss of mobility due to a surgery, or the devastation of the death of a pet. Understand I’m not saying we do this intentional, we are simply overwhelmed by the coverage on television. and social media.
As I watch the television, social media such as Facebook and others. There is a great deal of coverage of the famous quotes, actions, and yes even family engagement of the famous people that have died. However, there is very limited information being provided on how to cope with the loss.
I would challenge my friends, pastors, and yes even fellow chaplains to use these events to help people understand the resources that are available and develop the tools to face Grief when it arises in their life.
The great writer C. S. Lewis wrote after the death of wife, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” It is imperative that we help those we come in contact that maybe struggling the loss of these famous individuals, or more importantly those that are struggling with their own personal loss to understand we care and are here to help.
There are several things we can do to help individual to cope with loss when it comes, weather it a national hero, or personal loss:
· Acknowledge the loss.
· Help individuals to understand the stages they will go through and provide tools as they go through each of them.
· Listen to them, and allow them to share feeling and thoughts
· Encourage them to focus on the future even when they don’t see one.
If you would like more information on coping with grief, please check out my book @ https://www.revdonallenjr.com/p/books.html