PILOT KNOB LUTHERAN COMMUNIQUÉ
(Official communication to the public)
Have you given any thought to past losses that you haven’t given time to grieve? It could be a loss decades ago or simply last summer. You may wonder, what’s the purpose of grieving anyway?
For one, the purpose of grieving over a loss is to get beyond our initial emotional reaction and begin the journey of facing the loss and work on adapting to it. Dr. Gerald may, M.D. said, “Grief is neither a problem to be solved nor a problem to be overcome. It is a sacred expression of love. . .a sacred sorrow.” The truth is the only way out of grief is through it, and that of course means facing it.
The second purpose of grief is to avoid depression, delayed anger and similar emotions down the road. The stages of grief, which vary with each person, are normal and can be immediate or postponed. However, it should not be buried indefinitely or it will surface in unexpected ways and times.
Know too that grief is hard work. For that reason it should not be done alone. At some point one has to learn to live with their losses in healthy ways. Dr. Norman Wright wrote: “It’s a matter of beginning with the question, why? Why did this happen to me? And then eventually moving to a new question: How can I learn through this experience? When the how questions replace the why questions one has begun to live with the reality of the losses. Why questions reflect a search for meaning and purpose in the losses, while how questions reflect a search for ways to adjust to the losses.
Read the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:3f. note in particular vss. 20-21. Notice they’re words of disappointment and a loss that left them confused, this was an enormous loss yet they were talking about it and listening, admitting their disappointment and confusion. But, who comes to help them in their grief? Jesus! Vs.15.
Next week: What can one expect to experience in grief?
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