"If you don't grieve well, you grieve all the time."
Sometimes life hurts. People move away. Or pass away, or break up with us. We get fired or yelled at. Or we’re misunderstood or mistreated. Whatever it is, it feels really bad. We just want the pain to go away.
Certainly, in times of loss you need to cry. You need to get it all out. You have a right to your emotions.
But when months have passed, or years, there could remain some "emotional garbage." Which, like regular garbage in your home, needs to be taken out. Grief left unattended blocks your emotions as well as your movement forward into healing and wholeness.
Bottom line: A loss of significance—a big loss—can get stuck in your heart if it is not processed.
Stuck pain can also lead to unwanted behavior. You’re constantly sad or bitter, and it keeps you at arm’s length from other people, so you feel alone. You don’t feel like yourself, so you end up saying or doing things you don’t really mean—like blaming others or lashing out in unwarranted anger. You hurt others.
It’s been said that if you don’t grieve well, you grieve all the time. While you may put on a good front for friends and co-workers, inside the lingering sadness remains.
On the other hand, when you express your grief and deal with it, you can become emotionally stronger and healthier. That’s why it’s so important to grieve losses—to unblock your frozen heart so you can feel better, find joy and live a life of emotional freedom, serenity and love.
It’s time to “drain the pain” and express your grief so you can move forward.
How to Express Your Grief
Everyone heals in their own way and their own timing because love and loss is unique for each person. Here are some ideas on how to process your pain and release your sadness through grieving.
1. Acknowledge your loss. Getting through this season of grief and sadness begins by acknowledging that a loss has happened. Someone or something that was there is now gone.
2. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you do what you cannot do on your own. With His power, emotions expressed will begin the flow, unclogging your blocked heart. In time you will get unstuck and move from the darkness of loss and pain into the sunlight of restoration and wholeness. “The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down” (Psalm 145:14, NIV).
3. Ask for help from a close friend or family member who will listen as you share your story of loss. When someone listens to your heart, and hears your pain, he or she is a witnesses your sorrow and it can be life-changing.
4. Let yourself cry. Get the hugs you need. Allow others to pray for and with you. And receive all the peace and comfort that God and others have for you.
The good news is that you will not feel this way forever. Your gray days will one day turn to vibrant colors again. Perhaps it’s not today, or next week, but one day; maybe soon…
Your new day will come.
For more information about dealing with sadness, grief
and life losses, see “When Love Ends” by Jackie M. Johnson.
There's an entire chapter on healing grief and losses.