Stephanie Pearce: Dealing with grief
The last year was a hard one for my family, and I know several of my friends are having difficulties right now. I am by no means an expert in psychology, but I do have some coping skills that I would like to share with you.
First of all, if you are going through a loss, it is OK to grieve. Grieving is normal, and it is needed. Grieving is different for everyone and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Just know that you need to do it in your own time. You may need to be with people or you may want to be alone. Don’t worry about what others may think about how or how long you do or don’t grieve. Grieving is for you and sometimes you’ll feel the pangs of grief now and then for years and years. It means you were connected to a special soul.
No matter what you are dealing with that is causing stress or anxiety, I want to encourage you to meditate and pray. I pray on my 45-minute drive to and from work. This brings such a calming and peace that can’t come from anything else. I am so thankful for the drive. You may be angry with God over your situation and it might be holding you back from praying, but you can tell Him that too. He will understand that you’re angry and if it helps to tell Him, tell Him.
I’m in a Facebook group where members post their requests as needed. I take a few minutes each day to look over the requests and pray. It humbles me and makes me feel at peace to know that there are hundreds of other members who are also praying for me. The first time I wrote a request of “needing prayers today” on Facebook, it was as if my fingers had weights on them and everything in me fought typing the letters to form the sentence. After I hit “enter” on the keyboard, a wave of relief poured over me as I saw people respond with comments of “praying for you” or they actually typed out a prayer. I am reminded of that feeling every time I pray for Facebook friends, and it makes me so happy to know I’m helping someone I may not know.
I meditate morning and night as well. I use Philippians 4:8 which says “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
It makes me think about how I want my life to look, and I thank God for all of my blessings. You cannot be truly thankful and be anxious at the same time. It helps relieve my anxieties.
Life has a way of throwing things before us. We have to choose how to deal with them. We can lie down and let them run us over or we can stand up and move through it. Walking through the unknown or learning to let go of those things we can’t control is difficult, but it’s a lot harder if we don’t have a way to cope.