Grief, Loss and Letting Go

Many people don’t understand or appreciate what happens when they encounter a loss (a death, divorce, loss of job, etc.). Too often people either skip over grief or they get stuck in grief. Neither approach resolves the loss or allows grief to do its healing work.

How Do You Deal with Grief?

Any loss leaves a hole in your heart. The question is: what will you do with that hole?  Here are three things people try:

  1. Leave the hole empty and mourn forever. They never get over the loss.
  2. Kill the pain with addictive habits.  This will lead to more losses in t
    he long run.
  3. Fill the hole with busyness. This only delays the healing. When the busyness stops the pain will remain.

The Grief Process is when you allow God to rewrite your story.

What if instead you sought to seek healing? Healing takes place when you invite God to rewrite your story, this time without whatever or whomever it was that you lost. It will be a new life, but it can still be good: just different.  

Too often people cling to what was and get stuck in the pain and sadness of grief never accepting the good that God has for them. 

You want to let God close the hole over time. That is what grieving is all about…a process of renewal. But you have to let go of what was to embrace what will be.Too often people cling to what was and get stuck in the pain and sadness of grief never accepting the good that God has for them.

What Does “Letting Go” Really Mean?

griefI wrote the above as a brief post on Facebook. A reader immediately wrote back asking what I meant by “letting go”. She said a lot of people use that phrase without ever explaining it. I love questions like that. So this is what I said:

I talk about the process of grief and letting go in more detail in my book, STUCK. But quickly here, “letting go” means that you don’t insist that what was lost HAS TO EXIST for your happiness. “Letting go” means you are willing to entertain the idea that God can make good of your life without whatever it was that you lost. Many people refuse to go there. Even though they know what was lost is gone forever, they hold a thought that their life will never be good again.

Letting go is a process. The hole in your heart doesn’t fill up right away. That’s why it’s a GRIEVING process. It’s a time of mourning. And that’s okay. Think of a pie chart. When you encounter a loss your pie is reduced by, say, 25%. You are operating from a deficit. You aren’t 100%. But if you are open to God he will slowly start to rebuild your life. The pie chart slowly fills in…not with junk that you put there, but with new relationships, hobbies, faith, etc. that brings healing and closes the gap.

I hope this helps you understand what happens when you experience a loss and why it takes time to fully recover. Don’t try to fix it on your own. Let God bring healing to your loss over time.

Question: What is your typical response to loss?  How has that worked for you? Leave your comment below.

When you subscribe to this blog I will send you a free ebook copy of “Forgiven…once and for all”, a  reflection on how God has fully forgiven you.

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