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Dealing with Grief

From Deacon Pat Malanaphy, Hospice Chaplain at Crossing Rivers Health Hospice

We have and will continue to experience death and loss throughout our lives. Often, it is not close family or a friend and we can stand at a safe distance where we observe, express genuine sympathy, and do our best to support those who are suffering the pain of personal loss. And then there are the times when we lose someone close to us.

Many times we are fortunate to have someone to come to our aid and buoy us up. They will share our pain, help us to breathe and take the necessary steps to get through the difficult process of coping.

And sometime we can feel so very alone in our grief. We can be unaware of the people around us trying to help. We can feel that it is hard to focus on the tasks we need to accomplish. We can feel as though "joy" has gone out of our life. These are desperate times whether we see it or not. This is where life is being stolen from us. The potential of who we could be is drowning in the pain that consumes us.

When asked, "How are you?" we will respond "fine." But we aren't are we? It is difficult to seek help in our grief. We think that we should be able to cope on our own. Or that we should just get over it. And we wait another day, week, or month, thinking it will all change if we just stay busy with life, ignore it, or push the pain away.

For many suffering grief, the best prescription is a conversation with someone who will just listen as we share memories, or vent frustrations, or search for a new normal.

I again leave you with prayer.

Heavenly Father, Creator of all, we praise and thank You for all that we have been given in this life. Help us to understand that the memories of our loved ones who have passed away are a blessing, even though those memories are hard and sharp and filled with pain today that those memories, in time, will lay softly in our heart.