How to Recover from the Death of a Loved One

Recovery best describes our spiritual and emotional healing from grief. When we find satisfaction in life with renewed self-confidence, we’re recovering. We’re on the way to the other side of grief when we hear ourselves say “I am better”, “I want to live”, “Life is good” or some other self-talk that’s affirmative and positive. If we do all we can for ourselves— physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—we can recover from grief.  Here are some things that  may help in your recovery from grief.

  • Think about new ways to pray—for yourself and for others. Pray for renewal and personal transformation, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" (Romans 12:12 NIV).
  • Be truly thankful for who you are—for the God-given gifts and graces that are yours alone to share with the world around you. It's a sacred responsibility of grief to be thankful for the gift of life, "Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life..." (Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NIV).
  • Resolve to complain less, especially about what can never be changed. Read for grief understanding and spiritual enrichment. Write in a journal to see what's in your inmost heart. Often your very own words will show you best where you’ve been and give you direction for the future.
  • Find your smile and laugh out loud. The relief and release of a little levity are surprising.
  • Stay connected to the world—the world is not waiting on you or for you.
  • Relax a little. When you do, you see better that spiritually, you’re fully equipped to survive the devastation of your grief.
  • Reach out to others to relieve your isolation and loneliness. You may need a spiritual or social support community to move forward in your grief. You stretch your heart and mind and grow toward God when you share your story with others in a safe environment of care and compassion. If you're not ready for a group, perhaps all you need is a confidential grief friend who will listen to you with kindness and empathy.
  • Give thanks for the unfailing, steadfast love and faithfulness of God.
  • Continue in hope, “for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith” (1 John 5:4 NRSV).
  • Trust that God has a perfect plan for your future.
  • Dare to contemplate the endless possibilities of life when your grief one day turns again to joy.

From my own personal perspective on the ‘light’ side of grief, I wrote Grief Light for anyone who is grieving. The hope is that the heart and spiritual trust of Grief Light will guide you toward a better understanding of your grief and direct you away from the darkness, toward the
light of new life.



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