Our losses bring pain and disruption to our lives. No matter our specific loss, we share a common journey with others who suffer a journey of grief. Like a fog, we cannot fight it, change it, or remove it. We simply move through it one step at a time.
Others may share similar losses, but our grief is uniquely ours given our life situation and our relationships. The days are hard, the pain is deep, and the work is difficult.
The silence and loneliness we feel is deafening. Thoughts, emotions, and memories race through our minds and hearts. Time is distorted and seems suspended. We move and feel in slow motion. We are overwhelmed. People encourage us to move on, yet sometimes we feel paralyzed.
People are well meaning, but we cannot be fixed. Life is different. We cannot be returned to our pre-grief life. We wear the face of grief for this season of our life. We sob. We hurt. We cry out. We are silent. We feel confused. We feel alone. We grieve. We mourn our loss.
Grief comes in waves like the ocean – under us, around us, and over us. At times, the waves are so intense we lose our footing and are carried by the water around us. In our turmoil, reaching out to others may feel impossible. We turn inward and try to survive.
After the flurry of overwhelming activity surrounding our initial loss, the loneliness we feel is like a new tidal wave. We feel alone and do not know what to do. There is no single, correct way to grieve. Sharing with others who know the face of grief can be helpful. Some quotations and words of comfort are provided in this conversation guide when you are ready for them.
We hope these twelve conversations for grief and loss facilitate your journey and connect you with kindred spirits in healing broken hearts.
Table of Contents
Conversation 1 – Experiencing Loss and Grief
Conversation 2 – Understanding the Kinds of Loss and Grief
Conversation 3 – Sharing Your Grief Story
Conversation 4 – Experiencing the Pain
Conversation 5 – Understanding Stages of Grief and Loss
Conversation 6 – Guiding Family and Others in Your Loss
Conversation 7 – Facilitating Grief Journeys: Advice for Caregivers
Conversation 8 – Remembering Life Before Loss
Conversation 9 – Adjusting Your Life and Expectations: Mental, Emotional, Social, and Spiritual
Conversation 10 – Adjusting Physically & Financially
Conversation 11- Viewing New Horizons For Your Life
Conversation 12 – Gaining Wisdom, Giving Wisdom
Scriptures When You Are Ready For Them
Sample Conversation 1 – Experiencing Loss and Grief
“There is not a ‘correct’ way to grieve – there is simply your way.”
“There is nothing wrong with grief. Grief is normal and simply evidence that you have had a great loss.”
“Doors open and doors close in our lives. Our time grieving and waiting in the hallways is very difficult.”
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” – Psalm 23:4
“Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long? Turn, Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.” – Psalms 6: 2-4
- Grief is a complex reaction that involves your mind and emotions. It initiates a conflict between reality and what you want to exist.
- Your first part of the journey with loss and grief is to discover how to process the present . . .and then at another time you can deal with the future.
- Surviving the loss of someone dear to you involves a range of conscious, yet difficult choices. Despair and hope battle with one another.
- In death, the degree of loss is not only measured in terms of the love shared, but through the various roles the deceased played in your life. Grief is not only related to the intensity of the love, but also by the complexity of your loss.
- Courage is a good first step, but stoicism is not. Eventually openness and vulnerability allow growth to follow. Courage does not mean you are healed, but it simply means you are garnering the strength to make some healthy steps.
- What are you grieving?
- How is your life changing? What changes are most challenging to you?
- How do you think you are coping?
- What is your greatest fear?
- How well does the word “suffering” describe what you are experiencing?
- What is happening with your stress level?
- What is occurring with your memory and ability to think?
- What are you experiencing with your moods and emotions?
- What physical challenges do you have?
- What is happening to you spiritually?
- What is happening in your relationships?
- What new roles are you assuming?
Reflect: (Write some of your thoughts here . . .)