Grief is Personal
© Ferna Lary Mills
Your grief is very personal. It's yours and yours alone. You will have to deal with it in your own
way, and in your own time. Sure, others will have lots of advice on the things you should do to
try to overcome this sudden void in your life. Unfortunately, most of it is monkey advice, given
by those who, no matter how much they love you or how good their intentions, have absolutely
no real idea what you're going through. Even if they have been through grief, or studied all
about grief, they don't know YOUR grief. The truth is, grief is personal and you must handle at
your own pace and on your own terms.

You're filled with so many emotions, ranging from despair to anger, from tears to rage. But how
you deal with these emotions is your own personal quest. Someone you love is no longer going
to be active in your life. They are gone, and nothing you can do is going to bring them back.
That's the aching reality of it all. But there IS hope for your broken heart. Joy WILL come again
into your life.

Until then, as you weave your way through your own personal grief, trying to put some meaning
and purpose back into your life, I can only suggest a few things that have helped others, and
have helped me.  I hope these tips can be of help to you as well. I also pray that these words
can bring you hope that although your life will never be the same again, it can still be a great
life and well worth living!

First, understand that your grief is real, even though everything may have an "unreal" feeling to
it. It's not something you are used to or were prepared for. Accept it as real, even though
sometimes reality can really bite. Know also that nothing you could have ever done would have
prepared you for this moment. We all enter grief unprepared and vulnerable. This is normal.

Spend some time alone in your thoughts so you can express your grief in ways that only you
can do, without worrying about what others may think. Take some time out of your life to get a
grip on your feelings. After a while (you must decide when) there will come a time that you will
realize you are not an island. Although you have come face to face with the fact that your loved
one is no longer with you, you were not meant to walk alone in this world.

Sometimes the hardest part of recovery is reaching out.  Let others into your life. A good friend
isn't hard to find if you reach out to them. Let them share your burden, be a shoulder you can
lean on, and something in your life with some solid stability to it.

Remember your loved one in a special way, whether it's a donation to a charity, a memorial, or
a new tradition you create in their honor. Another way to find true healing, is to help others,
even though this may seem like the hardest part.  Although you must get on with your life, there
is no reason to "forget" your loved one, as they are and will always be a very important part of
who you are and who you have become. Spend a little time each day remembering the good
times you shared.

Now, VERY IMPORTANT:  No matter what phase of grief you are in right now, it's very
important that you spend time in prayer. God, the healer of broken hearts,  will help mend your
broken heart and will lead and guide you to find that purpose left in your life. He still has
wonderful things in store for you in this life.   Read the scriptures and seek that peace "that
surpasses all understanding". True healing will begin when you spend time with someone
greater than yourself.

As dark as it seems now, there will come a day when your grief will no longer overpower you.
You will rise with a strength you didn't even know you possessed, and you WILL live again. In
time, you will even find joy again. He promises!

May God bless you and be with you every step of the way, as He comforts your heart and
brings you to that place of Peace.
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