Coping Strategies After Losing a Loved One
At some point in life, everyone must deal with and accept losing a loved one. An important thing to remember is that there really is no right or wrong way to cope with the loss of a loved one. What seniors and others need to recognize is that grieving is a natural response to loss and there will be many different emotions attached to that loss. Seniors in particular experience this type of loss more frequently so here are some thoughts to help them cope as they walk through a season of grieving.
Acknowledgement of emotional pain is important as seniors mourn, remember and process the loss of a loved one. The pain from the loss will not go away until it is coped with, so ignoring the pain is not an option. Keep this in mind: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
The amount of time spent grieving a love one will differ from person to person. There is no right or wrong “timeframe” when it comes to how long a season of grieving will last. However, ultimately there is a time that people must “move on” so to speak. This does not mean that it’s time to forget the loved one; it simply means people must continue to live their lives without that special loved one. Psalm 147:3 offers these comforting words, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
It's also vital that seniors grieving a loved one remember that they are not alone. And that in these times, it’s important to seek out and lean on those closest to them. Friends, family and neighbors can help in these times, and seniors, many of whom may be apt to go it alone, should humble themselves and receive their love and generosity. The feelings and emotions of loss are normal and during times of grieving loved ones, friends, family and neighbors can offer words of encouragement or just be there to lend an ear or a helping hand. Remember this wisdom from Proverbs 17:17, “A Friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Every single person on this earth will grieve the loss of a loved one more than once in this lifetime. As seniors age, this naturally a more common part of their lives and so it is important that they have the tools to help them cope through times of emotional pain and loss. Simply allowing ample time to grieve is vital and reaching out to those closest to them in time of need for comfort and support can be very helpful. Of course, with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is the best place to start the healing process.
Kurt Stromberg is the Chaplain at Fellowship Square Historic Mesa. He is passionate about prayer and men’s ministries and has been involved in men’s ministries for more than a decade. He holds two master’s degrees — on in politics and one in Christian ministries. Though raised Catholic, Chaplain Kurt believes that when it comes to a particular denomination, it’s more important to follow, and have a personal relationship with, Jesus Christ rather than a particular denomination, church or pastor. Kurt enjoys current events, politics, animals, sports, ministry work, writing, volunteering and most of all, he loves God. He has a wife and three dogs.