“Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better.” Eccl. 7:2-3 (NKJV)
Even after you take the measures we discussed last time, you will have random, unexpected times where you feel empty or lonely because of the loss of that person. Sometimes it will hit you hard. At other times, it will come on you more subtly. It is important to let those feelings vent properly until you sense a release in your spirit and mind.
The worst thing you can do is repress your emotions. When you repress your feelings, it is similar to a person on a sinking ship. When you are on a sinking ship, you can shut doors within the ship to keep the water from getting to you. Eventually, the water pressure will push back the door and flood the rest of the ship. When you repress your feelings, you will vent them in ways that hurt yourself and others. You may lash out unexpectedly over small things. Without proper grieving, you can experience physical, mental, and emotional problems. In the years I have ministered, I have noticed that certain types of physical and mental illnesses come from the inner pain of a lost loved one. Your body needs to grieve and let the hurt and pain out.
Take some time and think about your past. You may have a family member or a friend you lost years ago. You may not have properly grieved for them. It is never too late to grieve and apply the practical steps aforementioned. As Solomon expressed, it brings health to your heart.
Grieving is not an exact science, but these are some tips to help you get through the grieving process. The heart is like an onion in that it has layers. Memories have layers in our heart. Wounds and hurts have layers in our hearts. As time passes on, we are peeling the wounds and getting deep down into the recesses of our heart and hurts. This lets Jesus heal us one day at a time.
Kelly McDonald Jr.