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 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.
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.