Process Grief For Healing

Process Grief For Healing

Chapter Two

Process Grief For Healing
Good Grief 29 Grief: Wrestling With Guilt 37
Grief: Handle With Hope 31 Grief: Love For The Lonely 39
Grief: Face It Realistically 33 Grief: Recovery And Victory 41
Grief: Experiencing Anger 35 Discussion Questions 43

Romans 8:28-39; Philippians 2:12-13

Good Grief

Grief, that keen mental suffering over affliction or loss, can be bad or good. Whatever causes grief is generally bad, terrible! However, while it is painful and difficult, grief can be a growing, maturing time in one's life if approached properly. Much will depend upon your attitude, your belief in God's sovereign grace, and a willingness to do "grief work". I found this out the hard way.

That day will forever stand etched in memory. A few days earlier an ominous shadow had stolen over our happy marriage. My second wife had had a routine mammogram that showed some abnormality. A referral to a surgeon and a biopsy had followed. Now my lovely wife and I were sitting in the doctor's office waiting for his report on the biopsy. As gently, yet honestly, as possible the surgeon said that the biopsy revealed a malignancy. My wife had breast cancer! We both were shocked. How could this be? Our world was shaken to the very core. We sat there stunned as we were told that she would have to have immediate radical, deforming surgery followed by radiation and possibly chemotherapy.

My first reaction was, "How can you do this, God?" Nearly two years after the death of my first wife I had remarried. Now fifteen years later the dreaded invader cancer had come to threaten us. It wasn't right. But together, with faith and hope in God, my wife and I faced the future. She had what appeared to be successful surgery. But undetected, the fast-growing mass had already begun to spread throughout her body. Weeks of painful treatments followed. There were ups and downs, dark and bright days. We walked together, she and I, though 'the valley of the shadow of death'. After two years of battling this dread disease, my wife went to be with the Lord.

I was left to grieve all over again as I had nearly twenty years previously. But this time it was a double grief. Old wounds were opened up. You see, I had not properly grieved after the sudden death of my first wife. I had neither the time, nor the knowledge to do 'grief work' then. But now I had to. Undergirded by the prayers of countless friends and relatives, and with the help of a Christian counselor and an understanding congregation, I began the healing process. As pastor, I shared what I was experiencing through a series of sermons on grief. I also found a Grief Recovery program through Hospice to be helpful.. But it still wasn't easy. I just had to live through it.

And that is perhaps the hardest lesson of grief work, the necessity of living in and working through one's grief. You can be confident that, even as you work through your grief, God is at work in you to bring about His best for you.

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"Lord, the way I'm feeling I don't see how you can bring anything good out of this experience. It's hard for me to see any future. But right now, I trust you to do what I cannot do. Help me as I walk through my grief. In Jesus' Name, Amen."

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: Because I have been called by God for His purpose, I believe He is at work in my life, even in my grief, for my good and His glory.

– Robert A. Crandall –

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1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Grief: Handle With Hope

Persons face many different kinds of grief and loss. If you are grieving it may be due to the loss of a job or a home. The cause may be deteriorating health or finances. Children move away from friends and family, and grieve. Young people know about broken relationships and loss of friends. Perhaps you are lonely, away from family. Maybe you have had a humiliating experience causing severe loss of self-esteem. This can happen with the death of a dream. Many of us know sorrow as we "bear one another's burdens" and losses. Of course, a primary cause of grief is the death of someone close.

Whatever the cause of our grief, when faced with it we must determine by God's grace – and there is no other way – that we will live and work through it. How well we succeed is often based upon our understanding of the grief process. Today and for the next few days, I will be sharing some of the stages a person often goes through in grief.

The first one is that of shock, the unbearable loss. In grief, the first thing you feel is no feeling! The effect of shock is a numbing of the senses. Everything seems unreal. It is like a bad dream. Shock is nature's anesthetic to protect us. A person functions as if in a fog, going through the motions, operating on automatic. There is a heaviness that weighs down; a voiceless void hanging over us. At this initial stage you can't even ask, "Why?" All you know is heartache and deep loss. The heartache sometimes gives way to hopelessness.

At this point about all you can do is to hang onto hope. That you must do. Don't give in to despair or give up. Someone has said, "There are no hopeless situations in life, only people who have grown hopeless." This we cannot do.

A pastor friend of mine has a motto on his study wall behind the desk which reads, "Hangeth in there!" In shock that is about all we can do. And at this stage it is enough. Nature is protecting you, and so is God. In one of his sermons, Robert Schuller says that hope is "Hanging On Praying Expectantly." Now is the time to exercise faith. You may not even be able to pray. So lean heavenly upon God.

At this stage, the best thing you can do is to let other people love you, care for you and express their concern. Don't push them away or try to be brave. Most of all, let God love you. Crawl up into his lap. Let him take you in his strong, loving arms, for "underneath are the everlasting arms." God alone can "wipe away all tears from our eyes." Let him do it. Trust yourself to his love and care. Things will get better. Believe it. Rest in it. Hold on to this blessing from Romans 15: 13: "Now may the God of hope

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fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

"I can't even think, let alone pray right now, Lord. But I know Jesus is interceding for me and I feel the support of the prayers of others. I trust myself to You, loving God, knowing that you will care for me. In Jesus' Name. Amen."

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: My hope is in the Lord who gave himself for me, and I will trust him now to see me through any grief I am experiencing.

– Robert A. Crandall –

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Psalm 34:1-22

Grief: Face It Realistically

After three days of devotions centered on the theme of grief you may be wondering why we are doing something this in depth. Perhaps you feel that it would be a more appropriate subject for a seminar or sermon than a devotional. But what better way to deal with one of the most distressing experiences of life than through reflection and prayer? An understanding of grief and of God at work in it should help us now and in the future. If you are not grieving over something now, prepare for it, for grief will surely find you! So, let's consider the second stage of the grief process, denial.

After the dullness is gone, and feeling has returned, the most important factor in working through grief is to experience reality. We want to wish away the sickness, salve the heartaches, or shut the door against the knowledge of death or other loss. This is an unrealistic response to the cold, hard truth of loss. If we are not careful this will lead to denial. Denial is dangerous for it is self-deceiving. It is not honest.

Some time ago a neighbor woman was wrestling with cancer of the stomach. She went through a series of surgeries, hospitalizations and other treatment. After some improvement she began to deteriorate. We could see what was happening. So could she. But her husband went into denial. He was sure she would get better. I don't think he ever really faced the possibility that she might die until the very last. She did die and he was devastated.

It is easy to act as if everything is alright when we are actually falling apart inside. We want to put up a good front, wear a mask. We don't want to be vulnerable. A few weeks after his wife had died, this neighbor came to our home and shared his grief. He said, "I am usually pretty good at controlling my emotions, but I can't keep the tears back." He had covered up for so long that when reality hit he felt it more keenly.

Whatever you do, don't deny grief for it will poison your soul. Don't try to dodge it either for it will catch up with you sometime. And don't despair, for "God will not permit you to be tried about what you are able to bear, but will provide a way of escape…" (1 Corinthians 10:13). He delights to do that for us.

Denial is dangerous emotionally and physically. Most of all it is dangerous spiritually for it makes us dependent upon our own resources rather than upon the grace of God. So, face your grief honestly, openly and with the help of God. In prayer ask God to show you the truth. Remember, Jesus said, "Then you will know-the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). It is liberating to face your grief and move on through it, rather than faking your feelings. You will then be on the way to healing.

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"O God, it hurts so much! You know how I struggle with the overwhelming sense of my loss. But, I do acknowledge my hurt and ask You to help me face it honestly. I trust you, my Strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus' Name. Amen."

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalms 34:18).

– Robert A. Crandall –

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Psalms 41-8; Ephesians 4:26-27

Grief: Experiencing Anger

Anger is almost always associated with grief. With reality often comes a flash of anger or smoldering resentment. During this third stage of grief angry behavior is often observed. Children fight over a lost toy or a game. Teens are vitriolic in their verbal responses. Adults say or do things they would never do at other times.

Anger is a strong emotion in response to hurt. Someone steps on your sore toe and you yell or retaliate. Something bad is happening on top of where you already hurt. Psychological hurt may be even more painful than physical hurt. The most common response to hurt is to strike out at someone or something. Such anger comes from frustration or resentment. You don't get what you want or realize your goals.

If not handled well, anger which can be used for good can also be like a raging forest fire. Then that smoldering resentment which ignites becomes "the flame that destroys," causing destruction and havoc in it's wake. Fire can warm, provide fuel for cooking and even cleanse when used properly. But when out of control it wipes out years of growth, building or investment. If unmanaged, your grief anger can destroy months or years of relationships and memories.

Since anger is a festering sore, my suggestion is that you let it out positively. To try to suppress it, repress it or depress it does not work. But healing can come from properly expressing your anger. Why not be angry with our enemy death? What's wrong with hating the disease that has no remedy and debilitates or takes away a loved one? Or the drugs that blight a teenager's life. It's alright to express anger at missing a spouse's love, a child's embrace, a parent's touch or a grandparent's blessing.

If not expressed appropriately, grief will come out in inappropriate ways. Not long after the death of my second wife, Judy, I found myself being angry at inappropriate times, in inappropriate ways, with persons who had done nothing wrong but were actually trying to help me. So, be careful of your response to anger during grief. As resentment builds up it can cause either depression in yourself or striking out at others.

Don't strike out at God. He is not to blame, humanity's sin is. But it is alright to question him. God knows your hurt and your feelings. Share your anguish with him. Striking out at others is equally destructive. It destroys relationships and ties that are desperately needed in times of grief. To be angry with oneself does no good either. You have enough to handle without punishing yourself further. Be constructive with your anger, rather than destructive. Let it work for you rather than against you. In this way you will redeem your grief and move toward wholeness again.

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"You know, Lord, how often feelings of anger sweep over me. Please help me to control and use these emotions for good and your glory. In Jesus' Name."

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: With God's help I will bring every thought and emotion under the captivity of Jesus Christ.

– Robert A. Crandall –

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Hebrews 10:19-25

Grief: Wrestling With Guilt

One of the most potent emotions accompanying grief is that of guilt. It seems to wash over the sensitive soul. Remorse, if allowed, will begin to set in. Feelings of failure abound. As all this begins to weigh you down emotionally it becomes an impossible load.

This situation reminds me of an event I attended at the State Fair held annually in our city. It was the Horse Pulling Contest in which beautiful teams of draft animals compete to determine which team can pull the heaviest load. Each team is hitched to a sled piled with weights. As the sled is pulled, more weights are added at specific intervals until the team can make it no further. The team going the greatest distance wins.

During the fourth stage of grief it seems that guilt is piled upon guilt until we can stand it no longer. The only remedy is forgiveness. If there is some valid reason for guilt, some wrong done or something left undone, it must be addressed. Whatever action is required should be taken. If something can be done about it, it should be done. God's forgiveness, and where needed, that of others, can then be received.

But frequently we are faced with false guilt. To blame yourself for what could not be helped does no good. Hindsight is always better than foresight. The "If Onlys" of life will eat you up, destroy you. "If only I had…" will gain nothing. You recognize that such thinking is not helpful, but it is difficult to quit. Even if there were things that could have been done differently, they weren't. One can never go back. You can never live the past over. A friend of mine has a choice saying I have often found helpful. I want to share it with you: "I did the best I could with who I was, and what I knew at the time." The Apostle Paul said, "Forgetting those things which are behind, I press on to that which is ahead" (Philippians 3:13). That is what we must do also.

To be able to move on in the grief process, we must forgive ourselves and accept the abundant forgiveness of Christ. Only grace can free us from our "guilted" cage. Sometimes we need to hear the word of forgiveness spoken by a fellow traveler. That was my situation. In an earlier devotional I mentioned that I had doubly grieved after the death of my second wife. Along with that I also felt the double weight of false guilt. It was truly an unbearable load I could not shake, even with earnest prayer. So I phoned my superintendent who served as a "pastor to pastors" and asked for an appointment. When I shared my need, he prayed for me and then said, "On the basis of John 20:23 I say to you 'In the name of Jesus you are forgiven'." With that my heart was set free and remains so to the present. My word to you today is not to allow the Accuser (Devil) to torment you further, but to reclaim your position as a forgiven, cherished child of God!

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"O Lord Jesus, in the confusing emotions of my grief you know the load of guilt I sometimes carry. Forgive me, Lord, and help me to sense your forgiveness. Make me glad with the freedom you so graciously offer. In Your Strong Name. Amen."

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: My name is Forgiven. When Jesus sets us free we are free indeed. Today I will live as a joyful, forgiven, cherished child of God.

– Robert A. Crandall –

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Psalms 25:16-21; Psalms 68:3-6; Psalms 68:19-20

Grief: Love For The Lonely

The fifth stage of grief is marked by utter distress! Here you will experience and must work through self-pity and loneliness. Feelings have moved from questioning "Why me?" to exclaiming "Poor me!" In fact, our neighbor, whose wife of over fifty years died of cancer a few months ago, has often said since, "It's just not fair!" Somehow you feel as if you are the only one who has ever experienced what you are going through. You feel that you are "different" than others. And, in some ways you are. Debilitating disease makes you different than someone healthy. Loss of a job is the opposite of being employed. Divorce leaves it's mark. So does estrangement from close loved ones. When death takes a marriage partner you are suddenly a single in a couples' world. Or a single parent among two-parent families. Feelings of alienation sweep over you because of this "difference." So you have a "pity party." The longer it lasts, the more you turn inward and stew in your own sympathy. If you don't get enough from someone else, you'll get it from yourself!

Loneliness accompanying the loss, whatever it is, only adds fuel to our emotions. Our neighbor also told us, "It's so lonely. I don't know how I am going to make it." In such times of distress it is easy to withdraw into oneself. The danger is that we will shut out the friendship of those who care and could help us. We curl up in our own misery. We may even push others away while we drown in our own misery.

I had a friend whose middle-aged wife had to be admitted to a nursing home. This sudden loss of his wife's companionship hit him hard. One day I tried to reach out to him in his grief only to be rebuffed. I told him, "I will love you anyway!" But it took some time before he realized the resources available in life friendships.

Therefore, it is important to force yourself to be with others. Keep close contact with family and friends. Resume an active social life as soon as possible. Don't neglect worship services and fellowship groups. Even work is good therapy. So are hobbies. Get your mind off yourself and onto others. Focus outward instead of inward. Work on the answer rather than the problem. Reaching out to neighbors and friends will make your own sorrow seem less severe. There is always someone to whom you can bring comfort. Most of all reach out to God. He knows your heartache and loss. Let him be your comfort. His is an eternal friendship, one that never fails!

"Lord, you are the lover of the lonely, the keeper of those who are alone. You know the feelings of the aching void, the loss of companionship. You are aware of the empty house, the shadowed hearth and the sighing heart. And, Lord, you not only know but you care! When you were here on earth you too were lonely. So you feel with all who

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experience loneliness. And you live for, love fully and lift up the lonely. Thank you for your touch today. Praise you, Lord Jesus. Amen."

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I am no longer alone, for Christ is with me by his Spirit. His presence is my security, his peace my rest.

– Robert A. Crandall –

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1 Corinthians 15:20-28, 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

Grief: Recovery And Victory

Recovery is the natural result of a healthy grief process. It may have been long and difficult, but you will make it. One thing you discover is that others have gone through similar circumstances and have made it. So can you. You will never be your "old self' again. Grief changes you. Yes, there is a season where all you can do is to "hang in there." But if you move through the grief process with openness and trust in God, you will come out a stronger, more mature person.

It all depends upon your response. The choice is yours to react negatively or positively. Sorrow can shrink the soul or expand it's horizons. Like a beautiful butterfly you can emerge from your cocoon of grief a beautiful creature.

Countless Christians can bear witness to this fact. I can too. You wish whatever caused your grief had never happened. You acknowledge that it was painful and difficult. You hope never to face it again. Yet, somehow God uses suffering to shape us more into the image of Christ. God never causes something bad to bring about good. But "in all things" God does work his purposes in our lives.

I have found God's grace to be abundant in my grief. As a result I know I have become more sensitive to others and their hurts. God has used my experiences to minister to others, just as I have with these devotionals. I trust he will continue to do so. And he has graciously provided another life companion each time of my loss. A multitude of friends and family continue to be encouragers. God is surely good.

Grief comes to everyone. But the Christian has God on his or her side. He is "the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). The secret is to lean heavily upon God, accept with gratefulness the assistance of others, keep in touch with your own feelings, and believe in a brighter future.

That future is promised by God. Christ's resurrection provides the basis for our hope. Our scripture lesson today assures us that Christ will reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet, even death. Everything that causes us grief has been conquered. So we can face whatever comes our way with confidence that the One who called us will accompany us in every life situation.

So, remember in your grief that the sun will come up tomorrow. The long, dark night of grieving will pass. Joy will return. The sound of singing will be heard again. In fact, life will be richer and fuller because of your grief experience. You will have complete victory! "Where, O grief, (whatever the kind, intensity or duration) is your sting? …thanks

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be unto God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:55, 1 Corinthians 15:57)

"Thank you, Lord, for my recovery from that awful experience of grief. You were with me even when I could not sense you there. Out of the ashes of my loss you have helped me rise to new life and new victory. In the Strong Name of Jesus."

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: Because He lives I can face tomorrow and whatever it brings.

– Robert A. Crandall –

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Discussion Questions

  1. Is it a 'sin' for a committed Christian (a follower of Christ) to experience heartbreaking sorrow and deep grief, following a great loss such as the death of a loved one? (In other words, does it demonstrate a 'lack of faith in God' when a Christian 'sheds many tears' and 'feels a sense of despair and anger' and 'questions God regarding the reasons for his loss' after the death of a loved one or after another great loss? Why or why not?) (Note John 11: 33-36)

  2. Is it 'legitimate' for a Christian to take considerable time to 'recover' from the deep emotional hurt and sense of loneliness and 'disorientation', following the death of his loved one (or following some other kind of great loss)? Why or why not?

  3. List some of the 'common losses' which people experience, all of which cause considerable grief.

  4. When one experiences the terrible 'initial shock', as a result of a great loss (of a loved one or of a job or of one's health, etc., etc.), does this 'shock' often give way to a sense of 'hopelessness'? When you suffer a great loss (grief), what can you do to resist the strong temptation to 'fall into the trap' of hopelessness and despair? When one is tempted to despair, can he 'lean heavily on God' even if his mind is so confused and his emotions all so injured that he finds it 'impossible' to verbally pray to God? (Note Romans 8:26-28; Romans 15:13)

  5. How important is it for heartbroken (grief-stricken) persons to put aside 'pride' and 'self-sufficiency' and 'aloofness', and to allow friends and relatives to express their love and care and comfort to them?

  6. As time progresses and as the harsh reality of one's terrible loss sets in, why is it so important for the 'grieving person' to accept his loss (with the 'fuller implications' of that loss), rather than to 'run from his loss' in denial?

  7. During a time when you were observing the deterioration of the health of a loved one, did you try to act as if everything was 'alright', even though you were actually 'falling apart inside'? Is it possible, 'in the name of faith', for a Christian to deny that his loved one is in the 'process of dying', and as a result fail to provide opportunity for his dying relative (like a spouse) to openly share his/her 'honest feelings and thoughts' about death and about future plans following death? Does it demonstrate a lack of faith in God's 'power to heal' if a care giver talks openly to his/her sick loved one about his/her loved one's 'impending death'? Do you think that refusal to talk about death with one's dying loved one shows insensitivity to the 'needs' of the dying one? Why or why not?

  8. From a realistic (Biblical) viewpoint tell why it is 'tragic' to react to your grief in any of the three following manners:

    1. Deny Grief.

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    2. Dodge Grief.

    3. Despair during Grief.

  9. Give your interpretation and application of the following statement: "Denial of your grief is dangerous emotionally and physically. Most of all it is dangerous spiritually for it makes us dependent upon our own resources rather than upon the grace of God."

  10. From your own experience, did you find 'liberation' when you faced your grief honestly and moved through it progressively, rather than 'burying your feelings' in denial?

  11. Since 'anger' is a strong emotion which is a response to hurt, can you expect to experience a certain degree of anger when you feel the 'deep hurt' from the 'death of a loved one' or the 'death of a friendship' or the 'death of a vision' or the 'loss of your health or your job'? Is it 'legitimate' (i.e., God approval) for a Christian to experience 'anger' as a result of his loss (grief)? Why or why not?

  12. Do you agree that, if 'grief anger' is not handled appropriately it can become like a 'raging forest fire', destroying months or years of relationships and memories? Even though the expression of anger (by a grief-stricken person) to those around him may be 'understandable' and even somewhat 'therapeutic', would you agree that most of one's anger (during a time of grief) should be expressed directly to God? Why or why not? Is it possible that one's anger (during a time of grief) can easily harden into deep resentments and bitterness and hostility, the consequences of which can be most devastating and unhealthy and alienating (in terms of maintaining ones past 'warm relationships' with friends and relatives)?

  13. If suppressing or repressing one's anger is not appropriate or helpful, how can a grief-stricken person positively express his/her anger (without hurting ones self or ones friends and associates)? Is it alright for a grief-stricken believer to express his great anger at missing a spouse's love, or a child's embrace, or a parent's touch, or a grandparent's blessing?

  14. Do you agree that, if anger is not dealt with positively and constructively, it can be expressed at inappropriate times and ways and to persons who have tried to help the grief-stricken person? During your times of grief, how can you avoid 'scapegoating' (or venting) your frustration and anger upon those persons who most wish to 'help' you (or upon other persons – even strangers – who surround you)?

  15. If 'grief anger' is not 'processed' correctly, can it lead to inner resentments and bitterness, or even to deep depression? Do you think that it is possible for a conscientious believer, who wishes to be rid of all anger (Ephesians 4:26-27), to deny (suppress) his feelings of frustration and loss and anger, and thus fail properly to "process his grief", and as a result become seriously depressed?

  16. If you intend to 'redeem your grief, why is it important for you (during your times of grief) not to 'strike out at God' or 'strike out against others', or 'strike out against yourself?

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  17. During your time of loss (grief), when your mind is confused and your heart is broken, is it appropriate (legitimate) for you to share your anguish and to question the 'justice' of what has happened to you, with Almighty God? Why or why not? Even though you likely will never receive a full or satisfying answer as to the 'reasons' for your crushing loss, is it nevertheless helpful for you to question God and to share your feelings of 'deep hurt' with God? Why or why not? Is the 'fall of mankind into sin' (in the Garden of Eden) the ultimate 'reason' for all losses (griefs) in life?

  18. What should the grief-stricken person do about the genuine guilt which he feels as a result of contemplation of his 'failures', 'mistakes', 'negligence', and 'transgressions' committed intentionally, and more often unintentionally, against the person (relative or friend) who has died?

  19. As it relates to the tendency to 'feel guilty' regarding the circumstances and decisions surrounding the death of a loved one, give your interpretation of the following statement: "The 'If Onlys' of life will eat you up, destroying you." What was Paul's attitude regarding the past events (both 'successes' and 'failures') of his life? (Note Philippians 3:13)

  20. To the grief-stricken one who is carrying a 'heavy load of guilt', what can you (as a burden-bearing brother, Galatians 6:2) do to help bring comfort and relief? (Note John 20:23)

  21. According to Revelations 12:11-12, what is sometimes the 'source' of guilty feelings in the lives of believers, and what can believers do to deflect this imposed guilt?

  22. During your time of 'grief recovery', how can your discipline of forcing yourself to be with others (family, friends, fellow parishioners in your local church), help you to resist the temptations to fall into the traps of 'self-pity' and 'loneliness'?

  23. Do you believe that your reaching out to neighbors and friends (during your times of grief) will help make your own sorrow less severe, since such action will 'break' your own unhealthy 'self-preoccupation' and will provide opportunity to receive wholesome empathy and comfort from others?

  24. How can the comfort which you receive from God during your times of grief, better prepare you to comfort other sorrowing persons? (Note 2 Corinthians 1:5-7)

  25. Share a time (occasion) in your personal life when, during a time of great loss and grief and loneliness, you sensed in an unusual way the comforting and the companionable presence of Almighty God.

  26. Do you believe that, if you move honestly and thoroughly through the 'grief process' with openness and trust in God, you will come out a stronger and a more mature person? Do you believe that, as a result of experiencing deep grief, no one remains the same as he/she was before his/her experience of grief, that he/she will be either 'bitter or better' depending upon his/her reaction to the 'crushing sorrow'? Do you believe that sorrow will either 'shrink the soul' or 'expand the horizon of the soul'? Do you believe that, although God is not the

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    'author of sorrow', He never allows His children to shed 'needless tears', that every sorrow can be transformed and redeemed for beneficial purposes in the life of a believer?

  27. As a result of your own wonderful recovery from great grief, tell if you agree with a 'fellow sufferer' who said: "The secret (in dealing with grief) is to lean heavily upon God, accept with gratefulness the assistance of others, keep in touch with your own feelings, and believe in a bright future."

  28. Do you believe that, because of the resurrection of Christ, everything that causes grief to human beings has been conquered, and that the time will come for every believer when all tears will be wiped away and all will be peace and joy forever in the heavenly presence of our loving Savior? (Read Revelations 7:9-17; Revelations 21:1-5)

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