Heartprints

Grieving- Throwing a Life Line in the Sea of Emotions

When Your Heart Feels Like Winter & Your Tears are Frozen

Grief is unpleasant. It is a process of emotions that we each must pass through in order for our hearts to heal from a loss we’ve experienced.

As an adult I have had to deal with grief in all shapes and sizes. My first big conflict with grief, though, came at the age of eleven. My mother died.  Perhaps my words below will help you understand what I felt when I lost her.

“It feels like the worst of winter has settled in your heart. 

It is not just the worst of any winter.

It is like the worst winter in a barren Siberian wasteland.

Tears fall until there seem to be no more.

When tears stop falling, you think that maybe there are no more tears to cry.

Then you feel it,

that frozen solid lump inside.

You know that place. It wasn’t always cold.

 It was a welcome place, a safe place.

It was a place filled with warm memories

of all that you love.

It is not warm now. It is not safe.

Now it is the place of remembering what you can’t have.

It no longer feels like love.

It only feels like loss.

Somehow you know

that more tears would fall if they could.

They can’t.

They are frozen

around all the things too hard to remember.

You want to talk about it with someone.

When you do it only makes them sad,

or worse yet, angry.

You don’t understand what is happening.

You are pretty sure that these feelings are somehow bad.

They hurt.

You don’t want them.

No one else does either.

You bury them

in that frozen place

with the other things you don’t want to remember.

What you don’t know

 is that someday your heart will thaw.

When you think the pain is gone for good

it will surprise you.

Suddenly you will remember

and the tears will fall again.”

The first step to helping your child deal with loss is to help them understand emotions. Like symptoms of an illness, emotions are nothing more than an indicator of something bigger going on in our hearts.

All emotions come from God and they are good. Feelings tell us when things are happening on the inside. They are indicators that tells us to examine our hearts, our motives and our beliefs. 

There are some amazing games, books, and great charts that you can purchase to help your children understand emotions. What we do in response to our emotions as Christians is very important in our walk with Christ. If we want our children to be godly adults then we need to teach them how to respond to emotions is a healthy way.

Be intentional in expressing emotions and examining your own heart out loud so that your child has an example to follow. The Bible is full of God speaking His emotions out loud for us! And David also gives us great examples in the Psalms.

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Suzi Ciliberti

Suzi Ciliberti works for Christar, a Missions Agency that plants churches among least-reached Asians worldwide. She served in Japan for two years as a single missionary and another nine with her husband and two children, then the family returned to the states. She and her husband have been serving in the US Mobilization Center since 2000. As a part of the Member Care Department, Suzi is consultant to families with children. She has been working as a children’s teacher since she was 17 and began her training under Child Evangelism Fellowship. She has taught in the church, as a school teacher for two years in a Christian elementary school, and as a speaker for adults training to work with children. She has also trained children, who are a part of families that work overseas, in their identity in Christ. She brings 44 years of teaching experience to her work. She loves creative writing as well as teaching and has found great fulfillment in combining the two as she blogs for Heartprints. She finds it a great privilege and joy to serve the Lord and His people. One of her favorite verses is Deuteronomy 4:10b, "Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."