I was reminded of the stages of Grief and how most people who are struggling in these times are somewhere in one of these stages.
I have walked this long enough to tell you I am now in acceptance and new joy. It's going to be hard, but it's going to be OK.
Think about the cycle and where you might be. If you are in ministry, where some of your people might be. This loss we have experienced in the last year is as real and as painful as anything we have endured for decades.
- Denial and Isolation.
At first, we tend to deny the loss has taken place, and may withdraw from our usual social contacts. This stage may last a few moments, or longer.
The grieving person may then be furious at the person who inflicted the hurt (even if she's dead), or at the world, for letting it happen. He may be angry with himself for letting the event take place, even if, realistically, nothing could have stopped it.
Now the grieving person may make bargains with God, asking, "If I do this, will you take away the loss?"
The person feels numb, although anger and sadness may remain underneath.
This is when the anger, sadness and mourning have tapered off. The person simply accepts the reality of the loss.