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Asking questions during the grief process.

Here's another question for you dear reader. Instead of spending your 7 minutes in heaven grieving in heaven, and possibly asking questions with your loved one as Reba McIntyre does in her song, (see previous post) would you rather spend part of your 7 minutes talking to God to have your questions answered? Joan Osborne sings the song “What If God Was One of Us”. The lyrics for the first verse are as follows.  “If God had a name what would it be? And would you call it to His face? If you were faced with Him in all His glory What would you ask if you had just one question?”.


If you are in the early emotional stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression) your questions may differ than the last stage (acceptance). The anger stage of grief is characterized by certain emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Some of the emotions that a person may experience during the anger stage of grief include feeling impatient, irritability, frustration, or rage, loss of control, pessimism or cynicism and resentment. According to one article (see source 1) the most common question to ask God after a loss, and in this stage of grief, is “God, where were you when this happened?”


Anger is simply an emotion which is neither bad nor good. It is a natural response when things don’t turn out the way you want them to turn out or think they should turn out. Emotions are meant to be felt and experienced. One expert in the field puts it this way. “While grieving a loss, particularly if it was an unexpected one, we might find ourselves feeling extremely angry. Anger is a defense mechanism that helps us feel in control and avoid our helplessness and grief. However, it’s important to become more aware of our feelings and their underlying causes to cope with anger and come closer to accepting the loss” says Angeleena Francis, LMHC, Executive Director at AMFM Healthcare.


After a loss it is important to try to find meaning. Our initial questions are based on answering the why questions. For many, faith and religion become a valuable resource during a period of loss. If you ever attend a faith-based funeral it is an opportunity to personally witness the power of faith and prayer. The service is often filled with inspiration and hope created by parishioners and loved ones united in a celebration of life. This, in turn, will lead to finding internal peace. This will help the griever move through the various stages and into acceptance.


As Elizabeth Kübler-Ross demonstrated, coping with loss is an emotional storm, yet finding peace is crucial. Belief in a higher power and religious tenets can bring peace through concepts such as eternal life, which helps what feels like a goodbye seem like more of a “see you later.” (source 5)

 

 

Sources

1.      https://duetojoy.com/blogs/journal 20 questions For God After Loss

3.      https://genius.com/

4.      What to Know About the Anger Stage of Grief, By Sanjana Gupta , Updated on December 04, 2023, Medically reviewed by Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD

5.     Kübler-Ross, E. (1969). On Death and Dying. Simon & Schuster/Touchstone, Psycom.net

6.      Grief, Anger and God, by Howard R. Winokuer,  Journeys: A Newsletter to Help in Bereavement, March 2000, © 2000 Hospice Foundation of America

7.       “When Death Walks In,” in HOPELine Newsletter, February 2005, HOPE for Bereavedmail@hopeforbereaved.com]



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