In the past two years, I’ve lost over 20 friends and family members, and right now I have several friends who are in the midst of grieving losses of friends and loved ones. Grief and mourning don’t just apply to the loss of people we love, but also the loss of dreams, hopes, expectations, possessions, jobs, and so much more. In this post, my friend, Donna Fagerstrom, author of Every Mourning, shares how to navigate grief and loss.
With the number of losses I’ve experienced in the past two years, it seemed appropriate to chat with Donna on a recent episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast about how to deal with grief. If you missed it, you can listen here (How To Deal with Grief and Maintain our Hope – Episode 153).
Be sure and read to the end of the post for a book giveaway!
How to Navigate Grief and Loss
By Donna Fagerstrom
Have you ever heard the phrase “two things are for certain, death and taxes?”
We can plan ahead to pay our taxes, but we can’t plan ahead for the death of a loved one.
Navigating Grief and Loss
In my decades of life, I have been blessed with much and I have experienced much loss. How we navigate through our loss really depends on us. We choose to let our loss (whether it’s the loss of a dream, job, promotion, loved one, you name the loss) make us bitter or better. The one letter that changes is the “I.”
Grief is real and it’s OK to grieve.
God is present in your grief.
Grief can help you grow.
Grief takes on so many emotions. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve, only the best way for you. You need to acknowledge your grief and give yourself permission to grieve your loss. You will be healthier and happier as a result.
Often the average person has a time frame in which they think your grief should end. I have learned through my losses never stand in judgement of how someone else grieves. It’s an individual process. Some take longer whereas others may not. It’s OK.
There are several stages of grief.
You may remain in one for a while or experience them all at once and loop back over and over again. So much depends on the circumstances and your relationship with the person or loss you’re experiencing.
Set a small goal each day to help bring purpose to your life as you grieve. Take one small healthy step in your new journey by eating well; putting “something” on your calendar for every day; take a fifteen-minute walk, even when you don’t feel like it. Then, be sure to invest (spend time) with others. Don’t walk this path alone. Often helping others helps us more than the one we’re helping.
The blackness will lift in time. The sun will shine again. Psalm 34:18 says; “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and he saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Bring your loss and pain to him. He can handle it. Be in the word each day, even just one verse, helps with healing and perspective.
Bible verses for grief
We have these promises in the Bible.
- Jeremiah 31:13 I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy, instead of sorrow, says the Lord.
- Hebrews 13:5 Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
- Lamentations 3:25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, the one who seeks him, it is good to wait quietly.
These are your promises. Claim one today!
Prayer for those who are grieving
If you’re grieving, let us pray for you:
We pray for the one reading these words right now, that you would comfort them in their grief. We ask that your presence would be palpable to them, and that you would show them how to put one foot in front of the other when life seems so hard. Lord, you promise in your word that you are acquainted with our suffering. Let that be a comfort that even when it feels like it, they are not alone. We thank you that you give us grief as a gift, and as a testament to the love we had. Bring people around to walk this journey with them. In Jesus’s name, amen.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on either what helped or hindered your grief process, in the comments below!
About Donna Fagerstrom
Born and raised in West Michigan, Donna Fagerstrom was spiritually impacted by Holland Youth for Christ, surrendering her life to God and full-time ministry. Donna is a gifted writer, communicator, worship leader and women’s disciple-maker. Her alma mater, Cornerstone University, awarded her the Woman of Influence award in 2010. After serving for 49 years in a variety of life-engaging ministries (Local Church; Seminary; Church Planting and Marketplace Chaplaincy), Doug and Donna have retired to write, coach executive leaders and nurture their family.
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, How To Deal with Grief and Maintain our Hope – Episode 153, is giving away a free copy of her book, Every Mourning.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you learned about navigating grief and loss and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win a copy of her book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, March 27, 2022. Continental United States only.