A quick reference with counseling wisdom and biblical insights to help make you more effective at what you do.

We love being a part of your life!

Tim Clinton, Ed.D.
President, AACC

April 13 – April 19

Action Steps

  1. Be Patient
    • Encourage your person to give himself whatever time that it takes to heal emotionally.
    • Encourage him to keep a routine, get lots of rest, and not try to attempt too much but to direct his energies toward healing.
  2. Maintain Friendships
    • Encourage the person to let others comfort and share in the journey toward healing.
    • Encourage him not to become isolated but rather to seek meaningful connection with others.
    • Make a list of friends to call.
    • Locate a grief support group.
  3. Feel the Pain
    • Help the person understand that the intensity of the pain is normal and that eventually it will begin to subside. The pain will probably never disappear completely, but it will become bearable.
    • Trying to avoid the “terrible pain” only prolongs the grief.
    • Trying to avoid a loss by hiding the feelings will only cause problems in other areas &#8212 emotionally, spiritually, or physically.
    • Dealing with loss in a healthy manner can be a major avenue to growth and life-transforming change.
    • The person must move forward by experiencing the grief, while at the same time rejoining the living through acts of giving and receiving.
    • We are healed of grief only when we express it to the full. —Charles R. Swindoll

  4. “Normalize” the Feelings of Grief
    • Grief encompasses a number of changes. It appears differently at various times, and it comes and goes in people’s lives.
    • It is a normal, predictable, expected, and healthy reaction to a loss.
    • Grief is each individual’s personal journey and his manner of dealing with any kind of loss &#8212 no matter how minor or severe it may appear to others &#8212 must be respected. It should be gently challenged only when prolonged in a manner that is detrimental to the person and his relationships.
  5. Healing
    • Help the grieving person process any guilt and anger he is feeling.
    • Help him redirect his energies from excessive “if onlys” and wishing that things could be different to instead focusing on healing.

Biblical Insights

Then David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son. 2 Samuel 1:17

Expressing sorrow is a healthy response to grief. David poured out his sorrow in words that honored the anointed king and his son.

Putting grief into words is a healthy way to handle the pain and honor those who have died.

He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:3, 4

Isaiah’s words communicate the suffering of the One who loved us and died for us.

In our deepest moments of grief and loss, we need only look to Him on the Cross and realize that He understands. He alone can heal the wounded heart.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25, 26

Because of sin, death comes to all (Romans 5:12—14). Many try to ignore death, not wanting to think or talk about it. But feared or embraced, expected or not, death still occurs.

In every pang that rends the heart, the Man of Sorrows has a part. —Michael Bruce

Jesus experienced those emotions at the death of His good friend Lazarus. Jesus knows the pain of loss and uncontrollable sorrow. He knows the incredible power of death.

It is natural to feel sad and mourn the death of a loved one. But in our times of sorrow, we can let Jesus hold us in His compassionate arms, knowing that He understands.

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14

The Thessalonian believers wondered what was happening to their fellow believers who had died.

Believers have the ultimate assurance. We believe that Jesus died, rose again, ascended, and is coming again; and we also believe that He will bring with Him those who have died.

One day, all believers will be reunited in the grandest reunion ever seen!

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Revelation describes a better time and a better place, however, where grief and loss will not exist: heaven.

No matter what we experience here, God promises a perfect future with Him. Through the hard times of today, we can trust this hope for the future.

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