Helping Yourself and Others Deal With
By Rebecca Book
I cannot begin to tell you how many of my close
relatives, friends, or neighbors that have died. The
earliest I remember is when I was in my early teens.
From all of my experiences, I have found several means
of comfort that I would like to share with you for
either your own comfort or to help comfort someone else
in their loss.
The core of all pain comes from the heart, which was
created for Love. When someone close to us dies, it
feels as if a big hunk has been ripped from our hearts
like flesh ripped in a critical accident. It hurts and
takes a long time to heal. It feels like sometimes we
just simply want to curl up and disappear. It sometimes
gives us an attitude of not wanting to open ourselves
ever again to any kind of deep relationship.
But there is a hope and Love that can heal those tears
and restore your heart. I have found that the first
thing to do is to reach out to God for comfort. Just
talk to Him and really pray with all you have. I figure
if He created my heart for Love, then I should depend on
Him for healing. He sent His Son Jesus to die for us who
believe so that we will one day live forever. I reflect
on His words in Romans 8:10-11 where it says if Christ
is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the
spirit is alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit
of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the One who raised Christ from the dead will give life
to your mortal bodies also, through His Spirit that
dwells in you. I take comfort in knowing that when God
is ready for me, I will one day see my loved ones again.
Another scripture I keep in mind is that of Romans 14:8.
It says that if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we
die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or
die, we are the Lord's. And we all are the Lord's
whether we want to admit it or not. He created each one
of us and we are all here on borrowed time to do His
will for we are all mortal for this earth.
Several of those who were close to me died from cancer,
sickness, old age, and fatal accidents. To see someone
suffer such tragedies is almost as bad as death itself.
I am comforted in knowing that death has freed them from
their suffering and pain. It does not make missing them
or hurting easier, but it does help to know the Lord has
power over death.
I have known some who get mad at God for taking their
loved ones and they do not understand. He has power over
death, but one must be careful on who to blame. In James
1:13-15, it says never to say that "God tempted me."
Death is sin and evil and the blame is the devil's. God
brings comfort to those who suffer at the devil's
expense. You see, in the beginning there was the devil
who caused Eve, then Adam, to sin. This opened the world
to sin and death. Before he came along and enticed Eve
to eat that apple, there was no sin and death. God's
intent was always and is always for good. So be careful
in blaming God. He is ultimately in charge but His will
is to be.
Usually when someone close dies, other family members,
close friends, and neighbors show up to sympathize and
remember along with us. Instead of wallowing in the pain
I really want to, I try to listen closer to these
people's stories and memories they are sharing. Revel in
everyone and when in a quiet moment you slip into
sadness, press replay in your mind and think about what
was shared and even remember your own memories. Those
thoughts should make things better and for the moment,
to eventually the point of dwindling in time.
Sometimes when I feel pretty low I concentrate my
thoughts on others. If you have a family, keep yourself
busy, really spending quality time with them. Find
someone in your family or community who needs a helping
hand and spend time with them. Time spent with special
people is healing.
If your family or work does not keep you busy enough,
join a health club or a support group. Your local
hospital usually provides you with information in your
area. Meeting new people can bring joy back into your
Someone once told me they were afraid of getting close
to someone again on count of losing them too. You cannot
let fear rule you because that is only the devil's way
of gaining your trust. Jesus tells us in Matthew
10:30-31 that all the hairs of our head are numbered; we
are of more value than many sparrows. In those days,
sparrows were considered to be valuable. In Luke 12:32,
He says again to "fear" not. We are never alone and God
wants us to call out to Him in all kinds of prayers and
requests. So, have at it!
Another thing I do from time to time, especially when it
had been someone very close to me die, is just talk it
out. Do NOT hold your feelings in. Talk to someone else
close to you who is either experiencing the same loss or
just a close friend or relative. I personally have found
that an elderly neighbor has some great advice. Our
elders are pretty experienced and smart. Talking things
out and having a "good cry" is healthy and also healing.
On occasion there has been times when I had not gotten
the chance to say goodbye. One thing I found to really
help was to send them a goodbye letter. Sounds odd I
know, but is very helpful. I just sit quietly to myself
and tell them whatever my heart desires. Then, I take
the letter outside in favorable conditions and where it
is legal and to not catch fire to anything, and burn it,
letting the ashes float on to heaven. The relief of a
letter is a true blessing at times.
Healing takes time, but keep in mind that you will heal
and many new memories will be made by those close to
you. If however, you feel that you cannot go on and are
so depressed you are sick, then please get professional
help. God gave these people the gifted talent of
helping, so use one of God's gifts to you. Do not get so
bad you cannot help yourself.
For those of you who simply want to comfort someone in
their loss, all this information from calling on God to
spending time with others should be a big help. Just be
there for them. Send a sympathy card and let them know
you are there for them whenever. Simply stop in and give
them a hug or drop off a casserole. When you give of
yourselves and do for others, you will find comfort and
be rewarded too.
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