A Deeper Look Into Grief

“This isn’t how I thought it would be….”
Many of us have experienced significant loss, change, and transition in our lives that has grieved us and our loved ones. Grief is a complex emotion that includes feelings of sadness, anger, regret, guilt, confusion, and fear. But grief is also an emotional experience that stands out from all the others. When we let ourselves feel the sorrowful truth of our losses, we transition and change. Our hearts will shift from being dominated and controlled by our losses and move to a place where we find resolution and healing. Moving through your grief will transform you.

Many of us have experienced the death of a loved one and after grieving we have found ourselves in a different place months or years later. Grief is an emotional gift from God to help us heal.
However, many of us are apprehensive to let ourselves grieve. C.S. Lewis famously said, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” Facing our feelings of grief is fearful because we are afraid that we’ll get stuck in our sadness. What if we never get out of it? Or, what if our grief changes us? What if our grief feelings make us quieter, angrier, sadder, more cynical, or less social? We don’t want our grief to change who we are, so we often ignore these painful feelings out of fear.
What else can keep us from feeling grief? Oftentimes, we feel misunderstood in our feelings of grief, or we feel the pressure from those around to us “move on.” We hear comments like, “Look how strong she is handling his death” instead of “Look how sad she is.” Being strong and stoic seem to be indicators that we are getting our grief right instead of falling apart in the face of tremendous loss. What would it be like if we encouraged one another to be more sad?
But grief isn’t just about a death. It can also be about our dreams that don’t come true or relationships that haven’t worked out like we imagined. How many of us are disappointed in where life has led us? How many of us are sad because we aren’t closer with our siblings or family members? How many of us are grieved when a friendship goes awry or when we feel misunderstood at work? There are flaws in every relationship and grieving helps us to move through these painful feelings towards more acceptance and freedom. When we face our grief, the loss becomes softer and we become stronger.
After all, we are promised that “those who go forth weeping, bearing their seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves” (Psalm 126:6). Our grief is never the end of the story.
We aren’t meant to grieve our losses alone. Grief counseling allows you the opportunity to share your experience with a trained counselor who can guide you through your grief and offer comfort, understanding, and hope. The Barnabas Center offers Gospel-centered professional counseling to members at Christ the King and our community, and we count it a privilege to walk with you in whatever season of life you find yourself. 
Leslie Peacock