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Lesson 1: Grief Hurts

GRIEF HURTS!

Grief affects us not only emotionally, but also physically and spiritually.  Let’s be honest.  It hurts!  And losing a baby, I believe, is the worst hurt. It’s out of order as our children are not supposed to die before we do. Initially, it shatters our emotions and feelings driving us into an overwhelming sadness.  It can even be so bad as to trigger a deep depression.  Most of what we feel can be made better by talk and time.  Occasionally, depression gets a hold in our lives and doesn’t let go.  In cases where depression has put us in a hole we can’t get out of, the best solution is professional help.  Most of the time though, even the most serious pain can be worked through on our own using a support system.  It just takes time, and sometimes a lot of it.  And, it takes having a good human support system around you, as well as a spiritual team that can pray when you feel you can’t.

The following quotes describe the emotional heartache we can feel.  From Free to Grieve by Maureen Rank:

“There was a heaviness, a real, physical ache around my heart that wouldn’t go away.” p.60

“Sorrow is the only tie I have to my child…if it goes the memory will be lost.”  p. 61

“I seemed to go on for a long time in a dark tunnel…” p.62

“overwhelming loneliness” p.37

“arduous and agonizing” p.40

From Morning Will Come by Sandy Day:

“My arms ached so desperately and I couldn’t fill them.  My heart was more than broken, it was shattered.” p.73

“pain so deep you wonder about the meaning of life”  p.49

“felt empty, as if our hearts had been torn out” and “felt weak and desolate”  p.53

“devastating”  p. 69

“loneliness seemed overwhelming”  p.73

“emotionally and spiritually, I was empty.”  P.77

Now, write down some of your own feelings.

Grief can manifest itself in physical symptoms too.  Some of these are: intense weariness, sleeplessness, inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, difficulty making decisions, depression, panic attacks, fear (fear of feeling the pain & fear of what your reactions might be), pressure/stress (society wants us to get over it quickly), and even actual illnesses (muscle aches, migraines, the flu).  What physical symptoms have you had?

Spiritually, grief can make us question our faith.  It can make us angry with God.  We can feel let down, punished or spiritually empty. None of these is wrong, but it’s important to work them out. What are you questioning God about?

There are things we can do to help us heal.  We need to talk about our grief, write about it, cry (a lot), give ourselves time, take care of ourselves, and keep our focus on God – tell Him you are angry, pray about your pain, ask God for help.  The key is to do whatever you need to do to work your way through the incredible pain of grief.  Yes, it hurts, but you will get to the other side.  It just takes time and hard work, lots of it.  Soon, the good minutes will outnumber the bad.  Then, the good hours will outnumber the bad.  Then there will be more good days than bad.  It’s a painful process, but you must work through it or it will come back to bite you later.

 

EXERCISE:

Make a list of what hurts you have and a list of where it hurts. Hurt is emotional, physiological, and spiritual.

 

What hurts do I have?

  1. _I feel empty inside.__________________________________________________

 

  1. ___________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. ___________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. ___________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. ___________________________________________________________________________

 

Where does it hurt?

  1. _my arms__________________________________________

 

  1. _____________________________________________________

 

  1. _____________________________________________________

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