In times of grief, what's needed?

In the days following my mother’s passing, my brother, sister, and I stayed with our dad in our childhood home, handling details and sharing fond memories, a few lighthearted confessions and even some occasional, good-natured teasing. The closeness of family was so comforting. Those first few days I leaned heavily on my understanding that life, through God, is eternal, and not dependent on a limited concept of time or a finite number of years. In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Eternity, not time, expresses the thought of Life, and time is no part of eternity” (p. 468). With this assurance, I never expected that I would grieve. 

However, a few days after returning home, my thoughts became so clouded by grief that I’d forget things I’d done moments before. I would pick up the phone multiple times a day to call my mom with the latest news, only to weep uncontrollably when I’d realize she wasn’t going to answer. After several days feeling overburdened by my emotions, I knew it was time for me to get to the bottom of what was really going on in my thinking, and I began to look at some of my long-held beliefs about what it means to grieve.

I remembered a training course I’d taken many years prior, where I learned about how to help people cope with grief. There I was taught that, from a psychological standpoint, grief is a necessary step in the process of acceptance and healing after the death of a loved one.

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A singing heart
December 3, 2012

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