My first thoughts on today’s study was that grief is a fairly automatic reaction to loss – the way we express grief would vary according to our different personalities.
Today, Selwyn looks at the issue of excessive grief – and provides advice on how to avoid it.
This is a longish summary, of what he wrote: First, to understand that everyone will suffer grief … ”This attitude will save you from feeling, when grief does come that you are being singled out for persecution (or punishment). Second, don’t try to escape grief through illusions and subterfuges. … Third, surrender all bitterness and resentment into the hands of God, for it is this more than anything, that is responsible for grief staying with us longer than it should.
Finally, get along side someone else who is grieving and see what you can do for them – you are made tender by your sorrow (as long as all bitterness and resentment has been, or is being dealt with).”
A further aspect, not covered by Selwyn, is that there is no fixed time for a person to experience grief after a significant loss; it’s not helpful to tell a person, within a short time after their loss – that, ‘they should get over it, and move on.’
Sometimes, after the death of a family member or very close friend – a bout of sudden grief might be experienced for up to a year or longer after the event; especially at ‘special’ times, such as birthdays and Christmas. However, there are some, who appear to get ‘locked into’ the early phases of grief – if, acute emotions are still evident after eighteen months – then I, for one, would be seeking professional help guided by lots of prayer.
What’s your view?