Jan 11, 2018
Grief: What To Do When No One Sympathizes With Your Pain
In a helpful guide, bible teacher and grief expert Nancy Guthrie offers wisdom to Christians on just how to handle it when no one quite understands or sympathizes with grief or loss in your life. When support has ceased but you're still struggling with the pain of loss, here is what you can do.
Give Some Grace
Sometimes, our grief can push us into a place of bitterness toward those who have moved on or no longer sympathize the way they did when the pain was fresh and new. "We have a sense of entitlement to everyone's attention and sympathy and we keep a score on people," Guthrie explains. "Maybe we don't write it down, but we know." The best way to handle this is to extend grace to these people in your life.
"Going down the path of choosing to take offense and become bitter leads to disrupted relationships and alienation from people." If this sounds like you, Guthrie encourages you to "recognize that perhaps it's not appropriate to expect someone who hasn't been there to get it. We think they should know, they should understand, they should know what to do. Well, if they haven't been there, then they really don't know."
Help Others Help You
Although the pain you're experiencing may be unavoidable in its effect on many aspects of your life, it may not be as clear to those who have not experienced it. Do not expect your loved ones to read your mind. In fact, some of them may just assume that if you don't bring up your feelings, it's because you don't want to discuss them at all.
In order to be "help-able", be open and tell those closest to you that you do want to talk. Initiate it. "But, probably most importantly," Guthrie says, "don't hold onto the resentments towards the people who have forgotten. Instead, ask God to do a work of grace in your heart, to give you the strength to begin to reach out to other hurting people. Ask God to open your eyes to the hurting people around you, that you could begin to extend to other people the kind of care, concern, and compassion that you so wish other people would show to you."