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Desires We Long For During Grief

Whether it's longing for inner peace, seeking closure and acceptance, or finding purpose after loss, we have to give grief the time it deserves.

the waves of grief

The days, weeks, and months that immediately follow the death of a loved one can feel tortuous. We are like a shaken can of Coca-Cola, ready to explode at any given moment. We may feel a wide range of emotions, such as anger, bitterness, sadness, confusion, frustration and exhaustion, with some moments of feeling thankful for the time we did get to share sprinkled in, all at the same time. It can be so difficult to navigate.

I remember feeling like the rest of my life would be spent chasing peace, trying to find closure, and desperately trying to bring meaning behind all of the grief I was suffering with. It felt like, “This is it? This is what I get left with?”

I realized how common these were with many people who were also navigating grief.

Longing for Inner Peace

One of the best ways we can initiate feelings of peace after loss is by regaining control over our emotions. As soon as we are struck with loss, our emotions are all over the place. Our body immediately goes into shock. It’s hard to comprehend what is happening. We then feel things like sadness, anger, confusion, all at once. Our emotions become a rollercoaster that never lets us off.

During the initial stages of grief, things that used to irritate us now feel like the whole world imploding on top of us. The smallest things used to set me off in my early days of grief. I’d drop my shoe after trying to put it on in the morning and burst out in tears. Was I really that upset about my shoe falling on the floor? Of course not. But I had lost control over my emotions and what would once not take any of my attention was now ruining my entire week.

Seeking Closure and Acceptance

It’s an incredibly difficult journey moving towards closure and acceptance after the death of a loved one. One thing that made this hardship easier to navigate was my faith and reliance on God’s strength. In our darkest moments, it is vital that we hold onto our faith, not run from it. We can trust that God’s love and grace will help sustain us.

"The central challenge for mourners is to move from loving someone who is present to loving them even though they're absent," Thomas Attig, Ph.D., author of The Heart of Grief: Death and the Search for Lasting Love

Unlike non-believers, we have the good news of an eternal reunion. Even in our pain, we can lean on fact that Jesus mourned, Jesus wept, and He understands our grief. He walks with us every step of the way. By keeping our focus on Him, we can continue to find the courage to face each day, embracing the strength He provides to endure our suffering.

In His infinite wisdom and compassion, we can find the peace that surpasses all understanding, allowing us to move towards closure and acceptance while honoring our loved one’s memory.

Finding Meaning and Purpose After Loss

Finding meaning and a purpose after the loss of a loved one can be an overwhelming part of the grief journey. One of the ways we can seek out the greater purpose behind our pain is through prayer and reflection. We can find solace in knowing that God carries us through our darkest hour. He offers His unwavering strength as we navigate the depths of our sorrow. When we lean on His divine guidance, we can discover that even in loss, there lies an opportunity for growth and transformation.

Embracing the memories of our loved ones with gratitude, we can find comfort in the knowledge that their legacy lives on in the love and lessons they imparted on us. When we use our faith as our compass, we embark on a path of healing, gradually finding acceptance and peace in the intricate parts of life’s journey. Anchoring ourselves to the love and teachings of Christ offers a steadfast foundation for finding meaning and purpose.

In the beginning, it feels like you will never feel anything but pain for the rest of your life. But somehow, we do. We learn, we grow, we find new passions and hobbies, we rediscover ourselves, and most importantly, we learn how to carry our pain well.

"Grief isn't only about mourning—it's about restructuring your identity and life after someone you love has died," Holly Prigerson, Ph.D

By embracing our grief rather than avoiding it, we allow ourselves to fully experience and process our emotions, paving the way for healing. Clinging to the promises of God, we find strength and hope in His assurance of eternal life.

Through prayer and scripture, we are reminded that our suffering is not in vain and that God has a greater purpose for our pain. As we trust in His divine plan, we can transform our sorrow into a driving force for living out His will and serving others. By sharing our journey and supporting those who are also grieving, we find a renewed sense of purpose that honors our loved one’s memory and reflects God's enduring love and grace.  

Need more practical tips for navigating grief? Check out my free e-book, "Tips for Healthy Grieving"


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