Life is not a linear equation.(Chaka 2023).What we plan sometimes is not what we experience .Many times as humans we get stuck when life throws some negative blows at us.
Loss is something we experience in this journey of life.We lose loved ones , we lose jobs ,we lose money ,we lose some golden opportunities in life .When a loss occurs we experience a myriad of emotions.
The emotional summersault may be too heavy such that you feel like the world has crushed .
Below are some suggestions to help someone who is grieving because of loss:
1.When someone loses something special to them ,don’t minimize their loss.
2.Listen attentively as they narrate how the loss occured and how they are feeling about whole thing.
3.It may not be ideal to bombard such a person with the Mathew Henry commentary , the NIV study guide and the Greek dictionary on the Bible .The person will not listen to you .
4.For those who believe in the Holy Book resist the temptation to appear all -knowing .God is not obligated to explain to us everything that goes on in this life .Some things will remain a mystery this side of life .
5.Admit that your theology and your competence has been challenged .Tell the truth that you also don’t know why such things have happened .
6 .Just being present and listening helps a great deal especially as the person experience all sorts of emotional turmoil and soul anguish.
7.Allow them to express their emotions without rebuking them or correcting the words they are saying .
8.Jesus Christ wept at the grave of Lazarus .Allow the person to weep,cry and express their emotions .Just make sure that they are not harming themselves or others physically as they mourn.
9.When they are quiet after expressing their emotions ,acknowledge their loss .
10.Express your support im words eg “I have come to provide support to you as my friend or brother” , depending with the situation .
Now the person experiencing a loss may be feeling betrayed ,especially if they were hoping that the situation will improve .
The following are some of the things the grieving person may experience :
1 . Depression
The above experiences are not in any order of happening .People respond to loss differently depending on a number of factors eg their closeness to the person or the item they have lost (attachment),
different cultures express emotions differently.There is no one size fit all.
Sometimes the personality traits of a person influence their grieving process.
The person experiencing loss must understand that whatever they are feeling are normal reactions to loss and there is nothing weird about it .
In conclusion every person experience some kind of loss.A word of caution to parents when your child comes back from school and he/she has lost her eversharp pen, don’t blame the child or use words like “what is a pen even people die” avoid such words.Listen to the child and show empathy not sympathy.Empathy means “I am putting myself in your shoes ” , sympathy on the other hand is feeling helpless and sorry .
The writer Professor Elias Chakabwata is a leadeship consultant and organizational growth guru.He is the Executive President of Impact Training Institute which trains people in various disciplines .He can be contacted on 0732288687.