Birthing Healing Out of Grief

They thought if they waited until we kids went to bed, we would not hear. We heard every word, cringing in our beds, almost vibrating to every shouted word. Mom and Dad were fighting again. Often the arguments centered on how they were going to pay the bills. But the significance to us was greater than finances. “What will we do when our home breaks up tomorrow?” I agonized. “Where will I go? Where will my brother and sisters go? Will they keep us together or split us up?” Though my parents never did separate, uncertainty filled my world. Security hung by a fragile thread. The conflict spawned grief that lasted well into adulthood.

But isn’t grief associated with the death of a loved one? Physical death is not the only source of this powerful response to adversity. Grief is a normal God-given reaction to loss, death, or change. It may be a financial loss, deterioration in health, or a loss of self-esteem. But normally the loss centers on the significant change of a relationship. A short definition might be anxiety provoked by loss.

After the end of World War II researchers studied young children separated from their mothers, usually during a temporary hospitalization. Initially the boys and girls protested by crying and calling out for their mothers. Some ran after them or searched them. The next phase was extreme distress, sobbing unconsolably, followed by withdrawal into self, and unwillingness to interact with others. These separation behaviors are expressions of grief. My own grief was an emotional anticipation of separation.

To explore the human phenomenon of grief and find God’s healing, listen to the attached podcast.Birthing Healing Out of Grief

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