Help For The Journey Of Grief

griefIt’s something most of us don’t like to talk about or even think about. But there is no more universal experience than losing a loved one in death. Part of your heart is torn, and it will never be the same again.

The experience of grief is unpreventable. It doesn’t matter much whether it’s your mother, father, child, spouse, or other loved one, death leaves a painful void that words cannot well express. Even if that loved one’s death is expected the loss is still no less painful.

The experience of grief is personal. Your relationship with your loved one was unique, and so is your experience of their loss. No one else can fully understand what that loss means to you, or tell you how to feel or what to do at such a difficult time.

The experience of grief is passing. That does not mean you will forget your loved one. But it does mean that healing is possible. There is no right answer about how long you should feel grief, or how soon you take each next step in moving into the next stage in your life. But time, help, and God’s comfort can clearly sooth your troubled soul.

The fact that we feel grief so keenly is one more bit of evidence that we were not meant for death. God did not create us to live twenty, seventy, or even a hundred years, and then go away into nothingness. No – He created us for eternity. He created us to live forever!

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Searching For The Fountain Of Youth

Fountain of YouthEven before Ponce de Leon spent his years searching Florida for the illusive fountain of youth, men and women have searched for ways to look and feel younger, and to keep from getting old. Promises of a return of vital strength, of younger looking brighter skin, or of reversing the aging process are almost guaranteed to sell nutritional supplements, beauty products, or health services.

Some would say our media-saturated culture glorifies youth at the expense of maturity. But might not those media messages be the result a deep-seated value system that we all share? We grasp at the raw strength, physical beauty, mental agility, and passion of youth. Most of us recognize that with maturity often comes wisdom, but we long for the freshness of youth.

Something in our soul understands that getting old, weak, and dependent is not our original destiny. Deep inside we sense that 70, 80, or even 90 years is not long enough.

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When It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Sad Couple Holding HandsLosing a loved one in death is one of life’s most difficult experiences. It’s something each one of us either already has or someday will go through. Knowing it will happen does not make it any less painful.

Certain deaths make the news, such as those who died in the Boston bomb blasts or the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion just recently. Or country singer George Jones who died last Friday in a hospital in Nashville, TN.

But most deaths never make network news. It’s your mother or father, your husband or wife, your brother or sister, your child, your best friend who leaves this life. And you are left with the very personal loss of someone you cared about, someone who can never be replaced.

The journey of grief is just that – a journey.

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3 Things that are NOT Small Stuff

Funeral FlowersRule Number 1: Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Rule Number 2: It’s ALL small stuff!

There are very few things in life worthy of being excluded from the “small stuff.”

We were reminded of this today when we heard from a friend of ours that his father had passed away this morning. For Peter, his life on this earth is over. For Steve, the long waits at the hospital, the fighting to arrange insurance coverage, the conversations with doctors, the late-night trips to the ER, the frustrations with family members over details – all that is over too. And suddenly all those pesky problems certainly feel like comparatively “small stuff!”

Steve had a chance to tell his father Goodbye. He knows his father was right with God, and he has a strong faith himself. None of that lessens the pain, but it does limit the regrets. And for the rest of us, seeing someone come to the end of life here does help put everything else in perspective.

In the grand scheme of things, what’s NOT small stuff? A few suggestions:

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Grief, Tears, and Pain

Grief, Tears, and Pain

Man Alone in GriefAt one point every one of us will have to face grief – the loss of someone we love.

There’s no way to make grief easy. It just hurts! So many emotions may be involved: sadness, loneliness, guilt, regret, shock, hopelessness, and more. The loss of a loved one in death causes more psychological and physical stress than just about anything else.

The Dr Carol Show tomorrow, Saturday August 11, 1-2pm Central, will be a special broadcast dealing with grief. And we would love for you to be a part. Find a station near you, or listen to live streaming.

We’ll also have a special guest on the program, Sam Hodges from GriefShare.

Leave your comments on this post. Send a confidential message to Dr Carol here. Or call 888-537-2276 during our program 1-2pm Central on Saturday.

Who was the loved one you lost? What were they like? How did that loss affect you? Did other people say or do things that made it harder? That helped? I’d love to hear from you!

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