How to Grieve Healthfully

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Novelist and Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, May 11, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #19 in Series 2020 and is titled “How to Grieve Heathfully.”

Grief is a part of the human experience. Not a pleasant part, but an inevitable one. Yet, grief brings with it some dangers of which we need to be aware. 

There are many types of grief. Probably the worst kind of grief is the loss of a loved one, whether sudden or expected. Either way, we are never prepared for the death of someone close to us.

But there is also the grief that comes from the loss of a friendship, the loss of a love relationship, the loss of a job, the loss of a dream, the loss of a bodily function, the loss of finances. I could go on and on and on. 

No matter the cause of the grief, the process of grieving is similar. Let’s take a look at this process, keeping in mind that there is a right way and a wrong way to grieve. We discover the right way to grieve in God’s Holy Word. Here are three important keys to grieving healthfully:

1. Grieve! This may sound obvious, but some people resist grieving in an attempt to be stoic. But the Bible not only permits grieving; it encourages it. 

When referring to the death of believers, the Apostle Paul wrote this in 1 Thessalonians 4: 13: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.” 

Paul didn’t simply write, “so you will not grieve.” No, he wrote “so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.” In other words, Paul encouraged grieving, but the right kind of grieving–the grieving that was filled with hope. What hope? The hope of being reunited one day with one’s loved one in Heaven. This is the wonderful hope experienced by those who are born again.

2. God wants us to express our grief to Him. The Psalmist David is our example in this. David frequently expressed his grief to God. But almost always, his expression of grief turned into an expression of praise. Expressing our grief to God lightens its burden as God replaces our grief with His comfort.

3. God wants us to express our grief to others. God has placed us in relationship to others so that we can bless one another. Part of blessing another is to share our pain during times of loss. Allow others to comfort you when you are grieving. Sharing the load will lighten it.

Grief becomes dangerous when it becomes pathological. Pathological grief is inordinate grief that remains stuck and cannot resolve itself. This most often occurs when the person has not gone through the stages of grief in a healthful manner. Although I won’t get into them here, these stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining with God, depression, and acceptance.

If you are experiencing grief, know that God cares. As you give your grief to Him, He will take it and, in due time, restore to you the joy of living. 

Jesus died to take away our grief. If you do not yet know Him as your Savior, pray this simple prayer with me now to receive Him:

Lord Jesus,You, above all others, are acquainted with grief. I come to You now, giving You my grief and asking You to come into my life to save me, heal me, and restore me. I receive You now as my Savior and Lord. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your relationship with Jesus Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day, starting in the Gospel of John, which is in the second half of the Bible. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In it He reveals Who He is, and He instructs you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. My latest novel, In Black and White, recently won First Place in the Historical Fiction Category of the 2020 Christian Indie Book Awards Contest. It is the compelling love story between a white woman and a black man as they face great grief in overwhelming the many obstacles that threaten to destroy their love. You can purchase your copy in print or ebook format on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and other popular venues. 

  

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Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on winning with the Word.

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HOW ARE YOUR ROOTS?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines 
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about.
The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to examine your heart
and how to program your heart for success.

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ROOTS. We need them to grow. Where our roots are planted will determine how well we will grow.

Only roots planted in the love of God will flourish. Paul writes in Ephesians 3: 17, “Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”

Are your roots anchored in God’s love? If not, why not? Has shame or sorrow or sin kept you from sinking your roots deep into God’s love? If so, let God help you push through that pain, for there is freedom on the other side. 

Growth begins in the roots. How are your roots? Sink them deep into God’s love, and you will know abundant life! 

I pray in Paul’s words for you today that God “from His glorious, unlimited resources…will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that come from God” (Ephesians 3: 16-19 NLT).

Now, it’s YOUR turn: How do you sink your roots into God’s love? Please leave your valued comment in the box below.

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

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How to Deal with Grief

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Grief is a normal human emotion that occurs whenever loss of any kind occurs. The degree of grief is directly related to the degree of loss or of perceived loss.

Portrait of lonely depressed man sitting on the floor

Grief has stages. Healthful grieving involves going through these stages, not necessarily in consecutive order.

To deal with grief in a healthful way, do the following:

1–Admit your grief. Do not attempt to deny it.

2–Express your grief in a safe and healthful way. 

3–Do not allow anyone to tell you how you should feel. Your feelings are your own, unique to you.

4–Recognize that events in the future may trigger a return of your grief. Expect such triggers, and do not be surprised by them.

5–First and foremost, give your grief to our Heavenly Father. He understands grief, and He alone can provide the comfort you need to prevent grief from becoming disabling to you.

There is a time for grief, but that time should not last forever. If you are still experiencing grief after a reasonable amount of time has passed since your loss, ask the Lord to show you the reason and to heal you. If necessary, seek the help of your pastor, a counselor, or a close friend.

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Overcoming Grief

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time for everything: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2; 4).

According to this Scripture verse, weeping and mourning over a loss—whether that loss be of a loved one, a pet, or a dream—is a normal human experience and a part of life. Grieving, however, becomes abnormal when it continues for an inordinate length of time with no let-up. I have met people who have lost a spouse or a child and years later, they are still so overcome with grief that they cannot function properly. This is not normal behavior and must be addressed.

Whatever the cause, grief must be processed in order for the person experiencing grief to resume his or her normal life. There are several stages involved in processing grief healthfully. While each person’s experience will be different, normal processing of grief will generally go through all of the following stages and not necessarily in this order:

1) Denial. This stage is sometimes called the stage of shock. During the denial stage, the mind says things like, “I must be dreaming. This can’t be really happening to me. I’ll wake up soon and everything will be all right.”

2) Anger. During this stage, the grieving person will blame God, others, himself, or even the lost loved one for the tragedy that has occurred.

3) Bargaining. This stage of grief is characterized by making bargains with God. For instance, the grieving person may imagine that if he promises God to do something, God will return life to the way it used to be.

4) Depression. At this point, reality generally sets in and the grieving person realizes he must go on with life without his loved one , without his pet, or without his dream fulfilled. During this stage, the grieving person may experience thoughts about what might have been. He may be tormented with guilt and refuse contact with the outside world.

5) Acceptance. This is the final stage of grief. At this point, the grieving person comes up out of his depression and discovers that there is still meaning to life.

The grieving process is different for each person. Some go through it more quickly than others. Also, some go through the different stages of grief in different sequences, even returning to a stage after having left it. If however, a person remains stuck in one stage of grief for too long, other than the stage of acceptance, then that person should seek help.

There is no greater Helper during a time of grief than Jesus Christ. Since He lived on this earth, He understands our grief. Not only does He understand it, however, but He also took our grief from us when He died on the Cross: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows….” (Isaiah 53:4).

If you have been grieving for a long time—too long a time—take your grief to Jesus and give it to Him. He never meant for you to carry it. He meant for you to process it normally and then get on with your life.

You are still on this earth because God needs you here. So find out what your purpose is and then fulfill it. In so doing, you will discover that what once caused you great grief has now become a source of inspiration for helping your fellow man.

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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission. Photo Source: Public Domain Images.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

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