Sunday, June 25, 2017

And Methuselah Died

Saturday, October 25, 2008, 21:26
This news item was posted in Español, Teen Talk category.
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by Dr. Chuck Baynard
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We are never ready for a loved one to die no matter what the circumstance. When they are younger or death comes suddenly we can be overwhelmed. No matter the age or cause death always brings sadness, heartaches, and an empty feeling.

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Acknowledge how you feel. With all death there are intense emotions that accompany it. Along with the sadness all feel you may feel anger, fear, guilt, regret, or despair along with many other emotions. You cannot fight yourself and your feelings. Pushing them down only compounds them and sooner or later they will burst forth with even greater fury. Grief demands attention. While it may be desirable at times to suppress it with distractions, but it must be acknowledged and faced. Knowing these emotions are part of being human and are normal can help us face them. So accept your feelings and do not hesitate to share them with family and friends as you work through this time in your life.

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Do not hesitate to openly and honestly tell others what you need. Well meaning people can often cause more discomfort. The best solution is to softly tell them honestly what you need that will help (likewise share what you do not need). When another in their attempt to help causes more pain, remember they are trying to help and forgive them.

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Being with others who have experienced like circumstances can help whether in an organized group, or just family and friends. Sharing of these feelings will help especially as you listen to how others overcame these same emotions and that they did survive the experience. This is a crucial step if you feel there is no one else and you have little or nothing to live for now.

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Faith will bring healing in time. It is also normal to be angry with God during times of grief. It is okay to be angry with God as you struggle to understand what happened and what comes next in your life. I can assure you your loss is not the punishment of God or some test of God on your faith. God shares the hurt and understands your anger and frustration. Most cannot name the time or event that caused their grief to begin to subside. They do see God’s goodness little by little and begin to trust life again. This trust in God and the hope of seeing loved ones again will win in the end. A community of faith that provides support can be a very key element in the healing process.

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Be patient with yourself. Often severe emotions such as grief can take a long time to heal completely. There is not set timetable and you do not need to add additional baggage by being angry at yourself for not being able to forget and move on with life. The changes that almost any death will require can be very frustrating, deal with these issues. The facing of these normal and very routine tasks will help the healing process.

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For believers death is not the end of the story. We will meet our loved ones again, that is the promise of God. Death will affect every single person sooner or later. We all will see the death of our parents in the normal flow of life. Knowing that hope never dies and that dying is really a part of living also will carry the day in the long term.

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Dr. Baynard is an Associate Editor of the Christian Observer and Senior Pastor at Clover Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Clover, South Carolina

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