Experiencing the death of a loved one is one of the most difficult things we will ever go through. It’s often something that we fear the most and pray will never happen, although we know that’s not how life works. Today marks one year since my dad passed away, and it’s been the hardest time of my life. I’ve never experienced pain like this before. Grief in general, is never an easy thing to navigate, let alone during these unprecedented times. I believe the Pandemic really intensified the grief process. So many people lost their lives as a result of the virus, not to mention other ways in which people passed away. The ways in which we show/give support to others and receive support from others, was different in so many ways. Doing things virtually, masked and distanced, suddenly became the norm. Sometimes, not being able to be there at all was an unfortunate reality.
In addition, we’re in the midst of the holiday season, which is already a challenging time for some. Dealing with grief during the holidays is another beast in itself and comes with an array of emotions. With all of that, however, it’s important that we find ways to cope during these trying times.
In dealing with the loss of a loved one, of utmost importance is having a strong faith/prayer life. There will be highs and lows on the grief journey. Often times in the first few months, you may experience many lows. That’s when having an intimate relationship with God is imperative.
When my father passed away last year (in the middle of the Pandemic and holiday season), it was and still is completely devastating. I know for sure, that had it not been for my faith, my own personal prayers and the prayers of others, I would not be here today functioning at the level I am now. Through times of anger, sadness, loneliness and numbness, prayer and faith in God has kept me alive and sane. A prayer as simple as “help me” or “Lord, I trust You” is enough. It helps to build your prayer life and your faith muscle.
When dealing with the loss of a loved one, what’s equally as important as having a strong faith and prayer life, is grief counseling. Shortly after my dad passed, a couple of friends who had experienced the loss of a parent, suggested I sign up for grief counseling. I started earlier this year, and it’s definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made. It’s important to have someone to talk to during times like these. An experienced and professional grief counselor will help you navigate the waves of grief, while supporting you through the process.
Family and Friends Network of Support
There’s nothing like having great family and a good group of friends to lean on in difficult times. If you’re fortunate to have great people in your life, be thankful and willingly receive all the love and support they give and offer. So many family and friends have blessed us. Whether it’s a phone call offering support, a hot meal, a monetary gift, or a simple “thinking of you” text message, none of that goes unnoticed. It reminds us that we are loved and thought about, which is always a good feeling.
If you or someone you know has suffered a loss, you are in my thoughts and prayers.