The Art of Grief

     Have you ever asked yourself what good comes from grieving? Or perhaps you’ve wondered why our hearts may need a little sorrow once in a while. Honestly, these are minor subjects we tend not to meditate upon since we have so many other distractions. Would you believe me if I told you that grief could be for your good? Before I inform you about the benefits, let’s start off by simply exploring what grief is.

     Grief is when one experiences deep sorrow as a response to loss or trouble. It is known to have physical, cognitive, behavioral, social and philosophical effects. Everyone has their own ways of coping with deep sorrow; these may include shutting themselves off from loved ones or acting as if nothing happened at all. Many  people bottle up their emotions until they are overwhelmed. They struggle to find comfort in their lives in such a dark hour. You may yell for help only to have no one near, or try to hold yourself together as someone else’s strength even though on the inside you are falling apart. Grief is not easy to endure; it is the ultimate process that can either make you or break you.

     It is human to grieve, but no one wants to grieve intentionally, especially since loss is never easy. However, in order to have deep sorrow, one must first have a strong bond or attachment to someone or something. Although anyone would rather experience joy than grief, there is something amazing discovered between the two states. There is beauty in brokenness that one can find if they channel grief positively. As Charlie Brown says, it can become “good grief!” Pain is not pointless or without benefit. If you are someone who grieves for your losses as well as the losses of others, that creates within you something beautiful that we all need in order to truly live: compassion. Grief is the sign that we are still alive and that we are still human. For how beautiful is the human reality that we break for the brokenness of this world?

     “Good grief” is necessary to survive in life for it forms in us a deep hope. Humanity without grief would turn us into beings with hearts of stone. It is completely natural, when we are afflicted or troubled, to begin to cry and mourn in order to be relieved of our pain. Positive grief can be good for every individual, as it helps to build strong and mature character, compassion for others besides yourself and, ultimately, hope. Grief allows you to see the world through another’s eyes and join them in their darkest hour. When someone’s hope is finally lost, you can be a spark of light that reignites a blaze of faith within them.

     One of the most difficult things to do is help relieve someone of their own misery. There is an old saying that “misery likes company,” so bringing joy to the grieved is like declaring war against grief. The problem with channeling grief in a negative manner is that we start to become a prisoner of the mind. If you are up for the challenge of helping out those who do not know how to channel grief positively, here are a few tips:

     First, do not allow negativity to influence your own peace and joy.

     Second, discover the root of the person’s grief to know how to properly aid their emotional need (do not assume anything).

     Finally, help the person search for constructive, healthy habits to relieve their pain, especially when they’re alone, and offer your faith in Christ as you walk with them.

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