‘The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.’ Psalm 34:18 NIV
One woman said, ‘I’d no idea grieving involved so many “firsts”. My first night alone, the first time I attended church alone, my first anniversary alone. And when I didn’t think things could get worse, I find myself bracing for the holidays alone—I’d give anything to boycott them.’ In such moments we can stand on the promise, ‘The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.’ He offers us the comfort of His presence and His Word, the support of loving friends and family, plus the passage of time to help heal us. In the meantime there are some things you can do for yourself: (1) Draw on God’s strength. Grief is physically and emotionally draining. So ask God to protect you from being consumed by it, and to strengthen you when you’re feeling down. ‘He gives strength to the weary… those who hope in the Lord … renew their strength.’ (Isaiah 40:29; 31 NIV) (2) Have reasonable expectations about what you can handle. Don’t expect too much too soon. Treat yourself like you’d treat your best friend; be kind, considerate, and nurturing. (3) Try to plan ahead. When you’re grieving there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to handle special events like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Some people decide to do something totally different instead of trying to maintain old traditions that reinforce their sense of loss. Do what feels best to you. (4) Allow others to help you. Going it alone usually means going nowhere; reach out to friends and loved ones. Ask them to pray with you and for you. Remember, others don’t necessarily know what you need unless you tell them.