Friday, December 21, 2012
I've received a batch of emails in response to this series. One theme is: “Does my holiday grief count?” One person asked, “I haven’t lost a loved one, but because of a divorce, half the holidays I don’t even see my children. Is it still okay to grieve over that?” Another friend asked, “My adult kids live in Europe and I rarely see them for the holidays. Is that a reason to grieve?”
In writing God’s Healing for Life’s Losses (http://bit.ly/bKWaP4), I wanted to communicate that every loss, every separation is a mini-casket experience. Each loss is a reminder of the ultimate loss of death. That is not to say that every loss is of the same magnitude. It is simply to recognize the reality that all loss hurts because every loss is a separation, a tearing away of what was meant to be together.
Yes, your loss counts. Most importantly, your loss counts to God. That’s why He invites you, like He did the saints of old, to lament your loss. Today, let’s ponder six practical principles of lamenting holiday loss—whatever shape or size your loss takes.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Push-Back # 1: “But Doesn't Everyone Handle Grief Differently?”
Absolutely. Everyone handles grief differently. There’s no one typical response to grief, and there’s no one universally “correct” path toward healing for the holidays. Healing is a journey— a personal journey with God and we all take unique twists and turns on our journey.
Your timing will be different from mine. Your way will be different from your relatives. We can’t force anyone else, or even ourselves, onto a certain timetable or a one-size-fits-all plan.
That said, good research and caring engagement with people consistently shows that “denial” is a very common initial response to grief. And initially, it can even be a grace of God that allows our minds and bodies to slow down long enough to survive the horrors of our loss.
Friday, December 7, 2012
In Part One, we saw Jesus and Paul giving us permission to grieve. Now we ask, “But what do I do with my hurt during the holidays?” Shakespeare said, “Give sorrow words.” God’s Word models that principle—we need to move from denial to candid honesty about the hurt that holiday memories can bring.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Christmas arrives like a pretty package full of grief triggers: Empty chairs, missing faces, and silent voices seem to haunt the holidays.