Grieve Well

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Today, Dr. Michelle Bengtson is the featured writer as the Dance With Jesus Birthday Beach Bash and Blog Tour draws to a close tomorrow.

Dr-Michelle-Bengtson

Author, speaker and board certified clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson is also a wife, mother and friend. She knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to address issues surrounding medical and mental disorders, both for those who suffer and for those who care for them. She offers sound practical tools, affirms worth, and encourages faith.

Dr. Michelle Bengtson offers hope as a key to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm. She blogs regularly on her own site: http://www.DrMichelleBengtson.com

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Have you ever lost something or someone very important to you? A family member? A friend? A pet? A job?

Did you allow yourself to grieve?

Grief and loss are all around us, and we will all experience it at some time. Sometimes I think the best we can hope for is to “Grieve well.”

Some memories are just seared into the movie screen of your mind forever.

I was gently ushered to the dining room table in the wee hours of the night. As I took my seat, I saw my pastor and his wife, and soon to follow, my 10 year old baby brother. I remember thinking, “this is an awfully unusual time of day for a prayer meeting.”

Sometimes naivete’ or oblivion or just plain not being in the know is the most comfortable place to be.

It was then that I was told the reason for the gathering…while I slept, my entire world and the rest of my future had changed without me being aware. My daddy had died suddenly and unexpectedly in the night. (He was much younger than I am now as I write this…way too young).

I don’t remember another word that was spoken. At that moment, words didn’t matter. Words couldn’t put my world back together again.

Within moments, the ambulance arrived with lights flashing, to carry him away and out of my life.

Sadly, my first thought went to what I needed to do as a young girl to help support the family. My mother wasn’t a United States citizen, had no education, nor a job. And in my mind, if my father could be taken from me in a blink of an eye, so could our home, our cars, my mother… I would do what it took to keep us together.

But my next thought was strong and determined, “This will never happen to me. If something happens to my husband, I will be able to support my family!”

And that set the course for the next several decades: strong and determined. And it would start immediately. At the visitation and the funeral, I assumed the position: I didn’t cry, and I put a smile on my face.  I took it on myself to make sure everyone else in that overly packed church was ok. I knew they would be watching us, and I wanted to be the “model Christian girl” so they would be attracted to Christ.

I was supposed to be happy, right? My daddy was in heaven, and heaven was a wonderful place. He would be happy there, right? And I was a Christian, so the idea of him being in heaven should make me happy right? Even though I was a little girl who no longer had her earthly dad… I believed it wasn’t ok to have the feelings I was having.

No one taught me that sometimes we have to give ourselves permission to feel the pain – as long as we don’t stay there.

So I didn’t…I shoved them deep down into a dark place in my heart that no one could see, including me, and threw away the key.

But that’s the thing about grief… Grief is a process. If we avoid it, He can’t heal it.

And avoid it, I did.

To continue reading Dr. Michelle Bengtson’s words and to enter the Dance With Jesus book giveaway, click here.

 

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