Saturday, March 21, 2009

Any Loss Causes Grief

Below, two blogs ago, I wrote about grief that comes when someone we love dies. There is also the grief that comes with losing. Many people are going through grief right now as they lose a job or a career or a dream. The economic realities have caused many to be displaced and may cause many to have to re-locate. Not only will they have to relocate where they live but they will also have to relocate their ideas, their dreams.

People have certain things in their minds as to what makes a meaningful life. They buy a house. They join a church. They send their children to school. No one counts on economic changes and downturns. We all expect that life will go on as usual.

Well, when it doesn't, we adjust and move on. Or, sometimes people get locked in anger or fear or worse. When we are going through change, aging, job loss, divorce, whatever, we experience grief.

Grief is God's way of moving us back to healing. Here are the stages of grief that I mentioned with death below:

* Denial (this isn't happening to me!)
* Anger (why is this happening to me?)
* Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if...)
* Depression (I don't care anymore)
* Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes)

These apply to any loss in life. We lived in a community years ago where many people were from somewhere else. That is, they grew up in another part of the country and they only reason they lived near us was because their work had brought them there.

I have never lived in the middle of such anger before. Most of the people there would not commit themselves to church or anything in depth. They only lived dreaming of the past or the future when they would get back where they wanted to be.

What a shame to be stuck in anger or denial or depression. "A mighty fortress is our God." Those who have faith know that no given moment lasts forever, not even bad moments.

Have faith and move forward. Learn from yourself and the circumstance. Adjust where you can. Know that life is more than stuff. And, know that it's not just happening to you. It's happening to all of us, at one time or another.

God is still God!
Dave Nichols

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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