Dealing with Grief

Grief Anytime we lose something or someone special to us we experience grief. Grief is our natural emotional response to loss of any kind. Many people are facing this right now through the tragedy of the bush fires here in Victoria – the loss of friends, family members, and loved ones, as well as the loss of homes and possessions.

There are many stages of grief that most people go through. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, in her 1969 book "On Death and Dying", describes five discrete stages that most people go through when dealing with grief or tragedy. They are known as the five stages of grief. 

  1. Denial – "I feel fine … This can't be happening to me!"
  2. Anger – "Why me? It's not fair … How can this happen!"
  3. Bargaining – trying to change what has happened in some way.
  4. Depression – "I feel so sad, why bother … I feel like I'm going to die … What's the point?"
  5. Acceptance – "It's going to be okay … I'm going to make it …"

These stages apply to the death of a loved one, but also to other losses such as a loss of employment, income, home, or a relationship (such as a marriage ending in divorce). These stages don't necessarily come in order nor are all stages experienced by everyone.

Thankfully, we serve a God who is familiar with grief (Isaiah 53:3), who identifies with us in our pain, and who offers us comfort and strength to make it through (see 1 Corinthians 1:1-7). In addition, the comfort of family and friends is also essential. Let people talk, let them grieve, and help in practical ways.

P.S. Click here for a few of my own thoughts as I had to deal with the grief of losing my mother a number of years back.

"Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted" [Jesus – Matthew 5:4]

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us." [The Apostle Paul – 2 Corinthians 1:1-7. NLT]

6 Replies to “Dealing with Grief”

  1. Thank you Mark for your first hand advice. Yes, I’m familiar with grief too, after losing my mum at 15 and other loved ones. My heart is close, with compassion, to those who mourn the loss of their loved ones. I’ve experienced all of the above stages and know how that feels. There are times I get tearful and still miss my mum and dad today…

  2. i really cant take this feel good theology any longer.. all you people who think you have seen grief and can advise others. when you have been dealt with the harshness of life, maybe you can all advise

  3. Hi theology,
    Sorry to read you’ve been dealt with the harshness of life. My heart goes out to you. Praying God’s love gives you peace that is beyond understanding to heal your wounds.
    If you need someone to talk to call me: 0419350795

  4. Hi Theology,
    I am trying to understand your post. Forgive me if I get it wrong. I agree that life is harsh but again the harshness of life can be turned around to blessings.
    The Word of God (the Holy Bible) is the Book of comfort, encouragement and blessings to me.
    My Mum went home to be with the Lord in 2003 at a blessed age of 92. Today I still missed her very much.
    Satan would take this opportunity to try and make me feel guilty and remorseful that I did not care for Mum better.
    The Sweet Holy Spirit would come to my aid and advised me to rejoice that Mum is with the Lord and could not be happier and blessed.
    When I take what the Holy Spirit has said to me
    the sadness and guilt were replaced by joy, peace and love.
    If it were not for the Love of Our Beloved Lord Jesus, I would be a complete wreck of sadness and guilt. The Word of the Lord to me, “There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. ” Romans 8:1
    I let Satan played on my mind because I walked according to the flesh.
    When I take the leading of the Holy Spirit and stayed in Romans 8:1, I am blessed.
    Though I missed Mum in the flesh, I rejoice in the spirit that she is now blessed in the Lord and could not be in better Hands.
    Grief is natural but it can take hold of a soul and ruin his/her life in the Lord. Our Beloved Lord who is the only One who can comfort and deliver us from His Precious and Wonderful Word.
    I run to the Word when I am attacked and I am safe.
    “The Lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking; he rescues those who are humbly sorry for their sins. Psalm 34:18 The Living Bible.
    Bless you Theology

Leave a Reply