Grieving the Loss of a Loved One is “As Normal as Breathing”
In June of this year, we will have the honor of hosting our 100thGrief Recovery Retreat. As most of you know, these retreats are given as a gift. There is no charge for the rooms, food, or materials. Caring, generous people from around the world give to Spark of Life so that we can honor those who are grieving with these retreats. As we lead up to our 100thretreat, we are sharing Grief Recovery essentials that hopefully can help us to ‘Live Forward.’
One of the first phone calls we received after we began Spark of Life was from a grieving husband who had suddenly lost his wife. He had 3 children who were of course grieving deeply, as he was. He was completely lost and not knowing what to do with all the ‘mess’ surrounding him. ‘Hopelessness’ and ‘give up’ were lurking.
“I need help”, he began. “I read about your retreat online, yet I am skeptical. Tell me if this retreat will fix me, and fix my children. You have to convince me this will work, or I am not coming.”
Welcome to working with grievers, I thought to myself.
Of course, I responded with honesty, that I could not fix anyone, and could not guarantee that the retreat would work. What does that even mean?
All I could say to this man who was in intense pain was that we would promise to walk this journey with him and his children, to acknowledge his feelings of hopelessness, and to share some grief recovery strategies that have helped many people to live forward—with the pain, and with hope.
Then, I stumbled upon something that ultimately helped him to decide to come to the retreat:
We do not believe those who are grieving need to be fixed. Grievers need to grieve, and often need help to grieve in healthy ways. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with those who are grieving.
Grieving deeply, and feeling lost and hopeless, and being in intense pain is natural and normal, and as many have said, is the price we pay for love. I am so sorry for all of your pain. Our goal is not to ‘fix you,’ but to give you hope to live forward.
Since then, over 1300 grievers have come to a Spark retreat and have not been ‘fixed,’ but have been given hope, even though life can never be the same again after loss, to live with purpose and yes, even with joy again.
There is always hope.