Managing Grief

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Last Monday, we buried my mother. She was almost 86 and in declining health. Near the end, she slipped into a coma and died peacefully. She’s buried beside Dad, and together they’re catching up in heaven.

When I received the call of Mother’s death, I was numb. I realized grief is . . .

  1. A nagging headache.
  2. Nausea.
  3. Waiting for the lump in my throat to happen.
  4. Waiting for tears to leave me in a helpless puddle.
  5. A chipped nail.
  6. Prayer for strength, even though I don’t know what’s ahead.
  7. An opportunity to write Mother’s obituary, memory-bulletin, and design a bookmark that reflects a celebration of life.
  8. A devotion that mentions the same hymns Mother selected for her funeral.
  9. Texts and emails from seldom heard friends and family.
  10. Scattered.
  11. Sensory overload triggered by raw feelings.
  12. An obsession to be doing something. So at 5:30 in the morning I clean the fridge. Scour the sink.
  13. Wondering when the sorrow will punch me hard.
  14. A step back into the past with memories and conversations.
  15. A need to pull weeds in the backyard.
  16. A push to edit another writer’s story. It’s good and I let him know.
  17. I don’t want to talk or see anyone.
  18. A plane ride from Houston to Ohio.
  19. Listening to my husband rehearse the music for Mother’s service. In an empty church.
  20. Enduring cold rain when I wish the sun would shine.
  21. The day of the funeral dawned a beautiful fall day.

Grief doesn’t always have to be a death. It’s a loss of any magnitude: a job, a relationship, a natural disaster—anything that steals our joy and rattles our hearts. We all experience it, and yet we are profoundly caught off guard when circumstances happen and usher in grief.

During this time, I thought about you and how I could possibly offer a little insight into the healing value of walking through grief. This is what we should be prepared for:

  1. God is not surprised by our loss. He’s right there to comfort us with His presence and His Word. He’s not unaware of our emotions. Even our anger.
  2. Sorrow doesn’t come with a handbook. We aren’t to feel guilty for lack of tears or a flooding. And tears aren’t timed with a stop and go button.
  3. Emotions are unexpected and unpredictable.
  4. Memories are like healing balm. Let them cover you.
  5. Grief can’t be stuffed into a corner, because it will burst out fighting.
  6. Prayer is your best friend.
  7. Comfort comes from many sources. Allow others to comfort you even if what they say isn’t appropriate.

Time passes one moment at a time. You will get through this, and one day be able to help someone else who is grieving.

Scripture: Matthew 5:4 ESV  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Grief is an emotion, a trait we share with others and God. It’s not an enemy but a means to work through loss. We can’t question how long it will continue, but the devastating sorrow will fade with time. Never forgotten. Always with memories and hope.

What one thing has helped you manage grief in the past?

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DiAnn’s Library Corner


Arrange all your Thanksgiving books for children in a fall display. Have a coloring contest for the younger children that fits your budget.

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