Without Warning: Sudden Catastrophic Death - Advice We Can Offer (part 2)
by Delores A. Kuenning
In part 1, the focus was upon the difficult challenges facing those who lose a loved one to sudden catastrophic death. The first goal in helping someone facing a grief challenge of this magnitude is to acknowledge their deep hurt. We cant fix it or change it. So is there anything we can do to help? Is there any advice we can offer, or should we try to offer advice at all?
Advice to Offer Survivors of Sudden Death
- Allow yourself to grieve. Give vent to your intense emotions. This sudden death has allowed you no opportunity to prepare yourself; therefore, you will be going through all the stages of grieving after the death. It is better to express—rather than suppress—these feelings. Tears give release to sorrow.
- Though you feel God has deserted you, the Bible assures us God has promised the Holy Spirit as your Comforter (Heb. 13:5; John 14:16). God is as saddened as you are right now.
- Your bodys grief reaction is normal. You may experience disturbing physical symptoms.
- Follow what feels right for you. Dont let others dissuade you from doing what is meaningful for you.
- Tell friends and relatives how you want to be treated. At times, say, I want to be alone, if that is your wish.
- Share your troublesome thoughts and feelings with an understanding, nurturing friend. Giving vent to feelings with a friend who can listen with acceptance helps dispel their intensity.
- Join a support group or grief recovery program. Call your local hospital or ask your pastor if such groups exist in your community. Seek counseling with a pastor or psychologist if you feel continually overwhelmed.
- Keep busy, but not to the point you stop the grieving process. Take time to mourn and let go.
- Give meaning to your life through helping others. Try to do things that you feel are worthwhile so you can have good thoughts and feelings about yourself.
- Keep active in a church where Christian friends will continue to show support.
- Recognize there will always be a void. The pain will lessen as time and life go on, but you may always feel your loved ones absence and have the feeling your family is incomplete.
- Recognize that suffering engenders growth. On your own timetable and with Gods help, you will survive and eventually heal.
- Scripture for Reflection: Deut. 33:27; Ps. 46:1–2,7; 91:14–15; Isa. 54:1–7; John 14:1–7, 15–21.
Excerpted from Helping People Through Grief by Delores Kuenning. Copyright © 1987, Delores A. Kuenning. ISBN: 0871239213. Published by Bethany House Publishers. Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.
Title: "Without Warning: Sudden Catastrophic Death - Advice We Can Offer (part 2)"
Author: Delores A. Kuenning
Publication Date: February 7, 2002