Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Stages of Grief and Loss

These are the stages of grief and loss which may not necessarily manifest in this order:

1. Denial

2. Guilt

3. Anger

4. Sadness

5. Acceptance

Once acceptance has been achieved, there are certain trigger points which may cause the cycle to loop back around to a stage that has already been experienced, i.e. birthday of a loved one, Christmas, family gatherings.

The best advice I can give in ministering to a friend like this is first of all to make sure that this sister is attempting to "put on the joy of the Lord" even through the valley. Give her a little humor litmus test. Can she laugh at her mistakes or her plight in life? Laughter through tears is a sign that she is still singing within the storm. Secondly, put an arm around her. "Nothing you can tell me will shock me out of being your friend. I've put this information in my secret vault, only to be discussed with you and no other." Say these words to her, "I'll stand with you." Finally, help to keep her grounded in the word by sharing daily what God is doing in your own spiritual walk. Remember, God has not called us to be the convictor or judge of sin. Our job is to be His light in the places where their is darkness.

We walk a very fine line when it comes to helping others deal with loss. Ask God for guidance and the capacity for love toward others. He will not abandon you in this endeavor.

No comments: