As human beings, we know the reality of death. We read about it, we see it, and we maybe have even come close to facing it ourselves.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:26. How is death described, and why is it described this way?
Who, having lost a loved one, doesn’t experience for themselves just how great an enemy death is? On the other hand, the dead have it “good”. If, in the Lord, they close their eyes and in what seems like an instant to them, they are raised to immortality. “To the believer, death is but a small matter … To the Christian, death is but a sleep, a moment of silence and darkness. The life is hid with Christ in God, and “when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory”. – Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 787.
No, it’s the living, especially the remaining friends or family members, who know the real pain and grief following a death. The fact is that grief is a natural, normal response to loss. It is the emotional suffering we experience when something or someone we love is taken away.
The grieving process is not the same for everyone, but in general most people go through several stages. The first and most common reaction to the death of a loved one is shock and denial, even when the death is expected. Shock is your emotional protection from being too suddenly overwhelmed by the loss, and it may last from two to three months. You may also go through a time when you are constantly absorbed by thoughts of your loved one, even during common, daily tasks. Often conversations turn to your loss or loved one. This period may last from six months to a year.
The stage of despair and depression is a long period of grief, probably the most painful and protracted stage for the griever, during which you gradually come to terms with the reality of your loss. During this stage, you may experience a range of emotions, such as anger, guilt, regret, sadness, and anxiety. The goal of grieving is not to eliminate all your pain or the memories of your loss. In the final stage of recovery, you begin to have a renewed interest in daily activities and to function normally from day to day.
|What comforting thoughts can you find in the following passages? Rom. 8:31-39, Rev. 21:4, 1 Cor. 15:52-57.|