Thursday, April 8, 2010

Unhealthy Grief

The only real danger in moving through the five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance—is the expression of your feelings in inappropriate or unhealthy ways. For example, if your anger tempts you to seek revenge against someone, or if your depression causes you to attempt suicide, this would be responding to grief in improper and unhealthy ways. It is wise not to respond impulsively to any of the strong emotions you encounter as you move through the stages of grief.

One of your best allies in dealing with the death of a loved one is time. The old proverb "Time heals all wounds" contains a nugget of truth. Accept the fact that it will take time for you to get over your great loss. You need time to process the jumble of feelings and thoughts. You need time to talk out your feelings with mature, compassionate Christian friends and leaders. As the weeks pass, your sorrow will diminish and your life will return to a fairly normal pattern.

Give time a chance to work for you by not expecting the pain and confusion to go away too soon. Hopefully, you will not have to make this journey alone. Try not to be afraid to reach out to someone. Most people want to help but just don’t know what to do or say.

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