DeacPost “The Grief Puzzle”

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Things I’ve learned:

-Grief is a puzzle.

-People grieve differently and at differing times.

-Those who grieve need our presence and acceptance.

I’ve known that those in mourning need our presence, but through grief specialist Dr. Robert Neimeyer, have recently learned that grief presents itself as a puzzle, with jumbles and confusing pieces. He suggests that, just as with a board puzzle, seasoned puzzle workers know to start with the corners and borders.

He points out that the grieving person may first flee to those corners and borders of life, finding safety and support there. But, as with any puzzle, they must go on to deal with the jumble of seemingly unrelated central pieces. Sometimes there are brief moments when several pieces fit together, giving a clue to the nature of the picture. But then, the grieving person, having never experienced the picture before, may sense little direction in how to continue. Still, continue they must — in order to put the puzzling pieces together,

Because it is an untrodden journey, grief coping and behavior may seem strange to the observer as well as the griever. A variety of processes in doing that are acceptable, as long as the person does no harm to self or others. And we who minister, need to be with those in our care as they restructure the puzzle that is their new life.

Prayer: Loving God, guide us to be present and compassionate to those who mourn. Remind us that without your love, we would be in eternal grief. Accept our gratitude for your eternal grace.  Amen.

Deaconess Bonita Fredel, Lake Mills, WI

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