How do you deal with loss?

March 18, 2022| Past Issues, Burpham Church

How do you deal with disappointment or loss? All of us are different and there are many different various approaches we can take.

here’s the ‘let it all hang out’ grieving version – we’ve all met someone like that. You know exactly how hard they are finding every second. And of course the pyschologists tell us that it is great to let our emotions out… but it can be a little too much for the poor unfortunate souls around us! Perhaps you lean towards the letting it all hang out method? Maybe we are tempted to wallow in our grief and somehow perversely not be prepared to leave the misery?

Or perhaps you are more the British stiff upper lip type? Don’t let anyone around you know how much you are crying inside and just carry on as normal. This was probably the approach of choice for many from earlier generations. I guess the ‘Keep calm and carry on’ movement stems from this approach. There’s a lot to be said for it, especially if you’re in a war – but the science now tells us that not dealing with grief and trying to stuff it in or pretend it isn’t there, isn’t actually very healthy and can cause us physical problems in the long run.

It’s not a subject that children’s films usually tackle, but those who saw the movie Up, may agree with me that it was a brilliant, if emotional, study in grief and loss. It’s not often you need tissues in the first 10 minutes of a Disney Pixar film – but this one was brilliant! (Do check it out if you haven’t seen it, it really does work for all ages!)

Grief is like the bear hunt – you can’t go over it, you can’t go round it, you have to go through it.

After the extraordinary last couple of years, many of us have experienced loss and grief in unexpected ways. There have been funerals that only a few people could attend. Elderly relatives in care homes whom we couldn’t visit. School proms, end of year celebrations – normal human connections and experiences that were lost for ever. I wonder if we recognise the depth of the trauma we as individuals and as a nation have been through over the last few years. Perhaps these are first world problems – we have not experienced anything like the devastation of Syria or the suffering of Afghanistan. But we do ourselves a disservice if we don’t allow ourselves space and time to acknowledge and grieve people and situations. Grief is like the bear hunt – you can’t go over it, you can’t go round it, you have to go through it. I wonder what that will look like for you? This March we have an opportunity for those who’d like to pause and remember those they have lost with others. On Sunday 6th March we have a Bereavement Service, 3.00pm at St Luke’s Church. Maybe it will be a helpful way for you to go through your grief whether your loss was recent or a long time ago.

And as Easter approaches it is good to remember that the Christian faith is very real about pain and suffering. The Christian God is one who enters into our pain and walks our path. He is ready to hear our questions and hold our hurt. He can deal with our questions, our frustrations and our anger. Why not come and explore some of those things on the Unanswered Prayer Course that we are running in conjunction with 3 other local churches. You never know – maybe this will be the place that you need to go to move on from that place of grief that traps you. Whatever your way to deal with loss – can I encourage you to face it – as the saying goes, we can run but
we can’t hide!

With every blessing
Rev’d James & Jo Levasier

Church Office: 01483 825533