One of the most moving scenes in Scripture is Jesus weeping at the graveside of Lazarus. It’s not that He was powerless to change the situation, which He did, but that He empathizes with us in our time of loss. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” The Lord didn’t promise to protect us from pain and loss, but to bring us through it. Perhaps these suggestions will help: (1) Don’t isolate. Expand your “family.” “Better a nearby friend than a distant family” (Pr 27:10 TM). If you don’t have family nearby, reach out to caring people who are close at hand. As part of a group you discover that you’re not alone, that mourning isn’t sickness or self-indulgence, and that sharing brings healing. (2) Don’t deny your loss. “The memory of the just is blessed” (Pr 10:7). When you’re around friends don’t hesitate to talk about your loss. When you do, you’re saying it’s okay for them to share their memories too. A burden shared is a burden lightened. (3) Don’t try to do it all. “There is a time to cry” (Ecc 3:4 NCV). Because grief is draining, you’ll need more rest than usual. So while your ability to function is reduced let others help with the everyday stuff like cooking, cleaning and shopping until you feel stronger. (4) Don’t neglect your legitimate needs. Respect your body by using the acronym D.E.E.R. (drink, eat, exercise, rest) to help you stay focused and set healthy boundaries. Nobody knows how you feel better than you, so give yourself permission to say, “No thanks” or “I’ll take a rain check” without feeling guilty.
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