By Angelia Mitchell
Can grief after suffering a loss be good for you? Can the grieving process be healthy? The answer is yes and then a very quick no. What I mean by that is there is an array of emotions when you have lost a loved one. Refrain from keeping your emotions bottled up inside. If you hold them in for long, your heart will become a prison cell filled with these emotions–a special place for hurts. Holding in emotions is not healthy and can produce a heart of stone. In Ezekiel 11:19 God says, “I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead”.
The state of your heart will directly affect the state of your physical body. So you need to grieve to assist you in letting go. When the feelings come, share them, write them or even cry. In Psalm 30:5 David says, “Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning”. Of course, grief will most likely last more than a day; however, joy is just around the corner.
Many times in the Bible you will find that people were grieving and they displayed it by mourning. Mourning can be described as an outward symbol of sorrow. This type of expression is a release, a statement. Mourning should be an option for all grieving, but it may be especially helpful to those who are not easily open with others. Perhaps wearing black or an armband will aid you in the suffering–illustrating your feelings and honoring the memory of your loved one. Healthy grieving is an act of love and remembering love. It hurts because you loved, but you need to remember that this too shall pass. A famous quote by Samuel Butler says, “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Grief is a mental suffering or distress over loss, a painful regret. In Psalm 31:9 David describes this when he says, “Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief”.
Repeating scenes in your mind of the person you have lost, and wishing that things could have been different, can be unhealthy, and create prolonged grief. Anxiety from distress that has not been unleashed can weaken the immune system, cause a rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and shortness of breath. Psalm 107:6 tells us a better way to grieve: “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress”.
So blubber, bellow howl, sneer, scream, kick, and run, fall down, whatever it takes to get release. Make the grief good-for-you grief, and make it brief. Then dance–for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Angelia Mitchell is a servant, wife, mother, daughter, and a friend. Led by the spirit, been through the fire and the rain to show His goodness in everything. Angelia Mitchell © 2009