At Sanctuary, we help grieving individuals
At Sanctuary Christian Counseling we’ve become experts in several things, taking extra training and having unique experiences in some vital areas. We’ve summarized this in our new motto:
“We help grieving individuals, distressed teens and couples in conflict find peace, solutions and connection.”
Today, grieving individuals is my focus.
Grief catches us all. Mostly, it comes stealthily, by surprise. Sometimes it comes slowly and painfully. Sometimes it sits down and puts its feet up, and stays for a long, long while.
It’s seldom easy.
And it isn’t always necessary for there to be a death in your life circle for you to struggle with grief. We see it everyday in many aspects of life.
Dealing with a disability? Grief.
Processing the loss of a love, a marriage, a job, a friend? Grief.
Learning hard truths about your childhood? Grief.
Facing difficulties that you shouldn’t have to? Feeling unsafe? Grief.
Lonely? Sick? Hurt? Failing at something? Letting go of dreams? Grief.
And there are many other times that grief rears it’s ugly head.
And here’s the next dirty little truth – there is NO getting around it. Attempts to bury it, to shove it off or stuff it, to medicate it or laugh it off, all of them FAIL. The ONLY solution is to go through it.
Going through it can be miserable.
But there is hope.
Eventually, grief diminishes. Eventually, it becomes bearable. Eventually, though it doesn’t go away completely, it allows peace to enter, too.
Here are some things that can help:
First, find someone to talk to, who will listen and not try to fix your grief. Trained therapists (like the ones at Sanctuary Christian Counseling) can be a godsend because they know how to help you process the intense emotions of grief in many different and helpful ways.
Remind yourself of other times you’ve faced challenges and how you successfully navigated them. Tap into those inner reservoirs of strength and peace to help you get through this time, too.
No matter how hard it is, feel the feelings. Find people it’s safe to talk to about them, and do it. Crying is not weak. It’s normal. (And, paradoxically, so is not crying). Feeling sad, lonely or scared is also normal. Adult family and friends don’t need to be protected from your grief. Sometimes they can be valuable aids to finding peace.
Support your inner emotions by caring for your outer body. Exercise. Eat well. Sleep to the best of your ability. Care for your health. Ignoring this will only make the grief worse, and, even though taking care of yourself may be at the bottom of your “want to do” list, it’s an important part of the healing process.
Consider a support group, but not right away. Groups like GriefShare and others can be very helpful in the long run, but are often too intense for those in the initial shock of grief. Sharing with others who really get it is wonderful and can help with the loneliness that often accompanies grief. Check hospice groups, hospitals, funeral homes and counseling centers to find groups in your area.
Know there is no timetable or even pattern to grief. Everyone’s grief is unique to them, and to their loss. You may grief differently for different events or people. You may grieve in ways that confuse or upset you-- like not crying when a parent dies, but losing it when a pet does – but all this is normal.
PRETTY MUCH ANY WAY YOU GRIEVE IS NORMAL.
Draw loved ones close; do not push them away. Don’t isolate yourself. Don’t try to be strong, but be yourself and seek the support, warmth and help you need from those you love. Spend time with loved ones. Accept their help. Tell them what you need. Often people have no idea how to help, and are grateful when you’re specific about your desires.
Draw comfort from your faith. God says He is “close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18). There are many other verses that speak to those experiencing grief. Look them up. Memorize them. Read them over and over. Lean on Him. If you have questions, ask your pastor.
When it all gets to be too much, remember we are here to help. We are experts in helping grieving individuals, no matter what the loss is. Let us help you!
Sanctuary Christian Counseling
9974 Molly Pitcher Highway, Suite 4
Shippensburg, PA 17257