It seems everywhere I turn I see someone talking about their goals for the new year or sharing how to make sure you keep those goals and new year’s resolutions.
If your goal for this year is just to survive, like it was for me those first couple of years after my daughter died (or maybe you are ready to go beyond just surviving but are not sure how), here are five ways to help do that, using G.R.I.E.F.
G – Give yourself lots of grace. Don’t compare where you are on your journey with others. Don’t put yourself on a timetable. Don’t expect too much from yourself, because you are going to be forgetful, and you will feel like you are crying all the time. Be kind to yourself.
R– Release yourself from the guilt, especially the “should haves,” and “if onlys.” If you had a friend who was blaming themselves for their child’s death, you would tell them not to. That is a terrible burden for your friend to put on themselves, so do not do it to yourself.
I– Ignore those who want to try to fix you. They mean well, but if they have not lost a child, they cannot possibly know what you should or should not be doing. People who have not faced the loss of a child may tell you that you need to move on, that you need to get past it, or that you need to find a way to have closure. These are all people who do not want to see you in so much pain, and they mean well, but to say it bluntly, they don’t know what they are talking about.
E – Engage with other pareavors. We can help you know that everything that you are thinking and feeling is normal. We can be your hope for you when you don’t have your own, be a light in your place of darkness, and can be an encouragement that you can learn to live a life of meaning and purpose again. Pareavors need each other; to have others around them who “get it.”
F – Find a way to honor the life of your child. The ways we can honor our children are endless. Finding a way to honor the life of your child will help in not staying stuck in their death, which was a moment in time; an important and devastating moment for sure. But I don’t want to live my life from the position of “My daughter died.” I want to figure out how to live from “My daughter lived, and her life mattered.”
I realize that none of these five things specifically brought God into the process, but that is because God needs to be woven into each one of these.
You can give yourself grace because God is giving you grace.
You need to release yourself from guilt because God is not holding anything against you. In fact, Jesus paid a very high price – his own life – to make sure that you are released from all shame and all guilt. Holding on to your guilt is like denying that Jesus went to the cross and died for you.
You can ignore others who are trying to fix you because God is the only one who can take the shattered pieces of your heart and bring them back together.
Just like the Holy Spirit led you to this blog, He wants to help you connect and engage with other pareavors who can walk this journey with you so they can be His words of hope and His arms of love wrapped around you.
And God has already made a path for you to walk on that will help you find ways to honor your child while giving you a life of meaning and purpose.
I used to have what almost felt like panic attacks when I would think about getting further and further away from Becca…. Two years, five years, ten, twenty years…. I could barely breathe, thinking about it. But one day the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart saying: You are not getting further away from her. Each day brings you closer to seeing her again.
You can survive this year, and you will. Just hold on and take one day, one hour, one breath at a time. By this time next year, you will be one year closer to being with your child again!
This blog was taken from the Grieving Parents Sharing Hope podcast episode 193, which has more shared on this topic. You can listen here on YouTube. To listen directly on the GPS Hope website click here or find the Grieving Parents Sharing Hope podcast on your favorite listening app.
NOTE: This is the September 30th entry in my newest book that will be coming out soon. It is a full year of daily readings, along with a short reflection and an appropriate Bible verse for each day. Click here to find out more.
If you would like a printable PDF of G.R.I.E.F to put somewhere as a reminder, we would be happy to send it to you. Just let us know below.
Expressions of Hope is provided by Grieving Parents Sharing Hope (GPS Hope). The founders, Dave and Laura Diehl, travel full time in their Hope Mobile (a 38-foot motor home) to be more easily available for speaking and ministry requests, and bringing intimate weekend retreats to bereaved parents. Laura is also a singer/songwriter and the author of multiple award-winning books.
If you would like more information about bringing Dave and Laura to you for an event, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in bringing GPS Hope to your area for a weekend retreat click here.
- Check out the Grieving Parents Sharing Hope weekly podcast
- Subscribe to Laura’s YouTube channel.
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- If you are not a bereaved parent but want to support those who are, or want to follow us as we give hope to these precious parents, please connect with us at Friends of GPS Hope on Facebook.