Once the word grief is spoken, in most cases our thoughts immediately proceed to the word “death”. As human beings we naturally associate certain words with others, in this month’s blog I wish to “enlarge your verbal territory”.
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”
Many of us have been introduced to the numerous stages of grief; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance (www.grief.com). No matter what incident, accident, or direct action, each of us in some form or another have walked the stages of grief.
Grief is an emotion which if allowed, can consume your very being. Grief can become so overwhelmingly present, that it becomes a characteristic of your life. The things in your life which were once humorous, you now find offending. People in your life which were once close, you now keep them at a safe distance.
Yes, grief can be associated with death, or better yet…”the demise of”….it may be a physical death, the demise of a relationship, the removal of employment, even the absence of “what was”. Grief and the mourning process associated with it has entered my life in numerous forms. One of the losses was experiencing a partial mastectomy; the loss of a body part. Life has a way of delivering change and transformation, whether we are prepared for it or not. I can recall grieving "what was" and attempting to reconcile, what was now my normal. Did I have a right to mourn or grieve when my life had been spared? What an emotional rollercoaster....healed, but not realizing I was whole.
Physical illness may bring a change in long-term relationships, and some may grieve “what was”. Becoming the caregiver for aging parents transform the relationship from parent caring for child, to child caring for parent, this also presents a form of grief of “what was”. Experiencing the loss of familiarity due to mental illness of a loved one, most definitely can cause one to grieve…”what was”. Being a primary provider for the home, where you once were the dependent may stimulate grief.
When Jesus was teaching the disciples of the diverse characteristics and personalities they would be ministering to, addressing grief and mourning was essential. In an effort to move forward the emotional and personal issues in our lives must be addressed. Initially Jesus identified a lowliness in spirit, which may be identified as a state of depression. Jesus did not want us to ashamed or embarrassed, he wanted us to know, greater is coming! Jesus stated in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Secondly he taught the disciples how to minister to those who were mourning. “ Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 While there is a significant lesson Jesus taught on this Sermon on the mount, these two scriptures speak volumes if we allow our hearts to receive the message. We must allow ourselves to hear and believe this present place is a “stop” along our journey to our greater home, not made by hands. I also believe another great lesson being taught here is that we are allowed to be comforted, we don’t have to carry the load of grief all by ourselves.
As a Lady Leader, each of us must learn first and foremost, that it is “okay” to experience grief. Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you can’t because of your title, your position or your gender.
Secondly, once you have identified that you are in a state of grief, take the necessary steps to move forward. If you are led to receive professional counseling, please do so.
Lastly, but most importantly, as you pray for comfort, allow yourself the opportunity to view all aspects of your grief process. Identify the source and allow the presence of His power to transport you into your healing! I’m a witness, it can be done, you too can....
Walk In Power
Dr. BJ Relefourd
The Lady Leader