GRIEF AND THE HOLIDAY SEASON By Katherine Jackson, BS, MDiv, CGC

Recently, I’ve encountered people interested in processing their grief. However, most came up with their own ideas of how they should process grief because of being fearful of what people would say about them. Based on psychological research, I believe the information listed here might be useful in understanding the importance of processing grief.
(Based on Robert J. Kastenbaum’s 11th edition Death, society, and human experiences (copyright@2012, 2009, 2007 Taylor & Francis)

Sitting amidst the Joey Memorial Flower Garden, I’m reminded that it’s late fall and the upcoming Holiday season will soon be upon us. My husband and I lost our youngest child, Joseph Randolph Jackson, Jr., on December 22, 2017. It was late fall when we realized he was going to die from a rare neurological disease. Prior to that time, although we had accepted the fact that Joey was very sick, we were prepared for the end — according to his doctors the end was 5 to 10 years down the road. However, he declined quickly; soon it was clear he probably had less than a year to live.  It turned out to be months.

Katherine Jackson, BS,MDiv.
Chaplain
Certified Grief Counselor

ABOUT US

Abundant Life Ministries Louisa LLC was founded on the principle that everyone deserves to enjoy the best life possible. Paragraphing Maya Angelou, poet, author, and activist: I believe that my journey in life is not to just survive, “but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” So, the question comes: what happens when circumstances preclude one from enjoying their best life?

According to the Bible, John 10:10 Jesus came so that humans could have abundant life. This life is filled with a spiritual fruit consisting of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Katherine Jackson, BS,MDiv.
Chaplain
Certified Grief Counselor

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Myths and facts about grief and grieving

Myth: The pain will go away faster if you ignore it.

Fact: Trying to ignore your pain or keep it from surfacing will only make it worse in the long run. For real healing, it is necessary to face your grief and actively deal with it.

Myth: It’s important to “be strong” in the face of loss.

Fact: Feeling sad, frightened, or lonely is a normal reaction to loss. Crying doesn’t mean you are weak. You don’t need to “protect” your family or friends by putting on a brave font. Showing your true feelings can help them and you.

Myth: If you don’t cry, it means you aren’t sorry about the loss.

Fact: Crying is a normal response to sadness, but it’s not the only one. Those who don’t cry may feel the pain just as deeply as others. They may simply have other ways of showing it.

Myth: Grieving should last about a year.

Fact: There is no specific time frame for grieving. How long it takes differs from person to person.

Myth: Moving on with your life means forgetting about your loss.

Fact: Moving on means you’ve accepted your loss – but that’s not the same as forgetting. You can move on with your life and keep the memory of someone or something you lost as an important part of you. In fact, as we move through life, these memories can become more and more integral to defining the people we are.

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Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body – Proverbs 16:24

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