This study guide examines the topic of losing a loved one, and the journey from painful loss to personal peace. It is our hope that you will find the key to your healing and be transformed, renewed and happy again.
Message from Marsh: “May your personal walk with the Lord lead you to be transformed, renewed and blessed.”
Thank you for coming to: mensgroup.org
Losing a Loved One
For “Anyone Experiencing Personal Loss”
(www.mensgroup.org – “Original Study”)
Based upon my own personal experience, losing a loved one is a very painful and conflicting experience for anyone to endure. In many ways, losing a loved one is more unbearable than being sick and dying ourselves.
When we lose a loved one, many tough emotions face us. For me, my emotions were raw and very confusing while losing several loved ones unexpectedly in my life. I had thoughts such as: What could I have done to help more? I should have said this or done that. Why did God do this? How can I endure the deep pain and hurt I feel? How will I survive on my own?
Writing down feelings and emotions often helps us see more clearly, thereby enabling us to identify our challenges and then attempting to overcome them. What emotions are you feeling?
Thinking, talking or writing about losing someone is very personal and emotional. I wish I had all the answers for the pain and grief you are feeling now. All I have is my personal journey of losing many loved ones in my lifetime. I still feel pain and hurt remembering after all these years. But, I have survived and eventually found healing, happiness and contentment in my life.
Through facing and embracing your loss openly, you may more quickly realize there is hope and happiness in the future. Right now, you might feel you want to run away or just be alone. These feelings are a natural reaction to loss. Perhaps, you want to share your pain with a family member or close friend because others may have faced the grief you feel and found peace.
What do you feel about embracing your loss openly and talking to others?
The road to recovery for each individual can be agonizing, is very personal and the time frame to finding peacefulness is extremely varied. Some people resolve their conflicting feelings in a relatively short time frame while for others it may take many years. It is important to realize and accept the recovery time frame is, “yours alone.” Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t moving on or, that you should be doing this or, you should be feeling that. I’m not saying you shouldn’t listen to what people tell you. Listen to others but heed what your mind and heart are telling you.
Are you ready to face your loss or do you need more time? What are you feeling now and why?
I will understand if you are not ready to start the journey. Your loss can be so overwhelming and depressing, it can paralyze you. If you aren’t ready now, please take care of yourself. I sincerely hope you will come back. If you do leave and return later, please reach out. My e-mail is, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through painful personal losses, I believe a key element in moving from pain to healing is the hope that someday there will be light. The belief that someday, things will get better and someday, I will find happiness. If we don’t believe there will be light and peace someday, we can more easily descend into the darkness of depression or the black hole of hopelessness.
Without the light of hope, darkness closes in
Without a small flicker of hope, darkness prevails
Having hope is the light shining at the end of the tunnel of healing *
Right now, do you have hope things will get better? Do you believe there will be light at the end of the tunnel and peace someday? Explain why you do have hope or why not.
If hope is the key to recovery and healing, how do we get hope? Where do we find hope if we don’t have it now or don’t believe there will be light and healing in the future? Hope, healing, happiness and peace may originate from many different sources. A few examples might include:
The love, care and support of friends and family
Counsel from doctors, counselors, pastors and other professionals
Guidance from friends of friends and well-meaning strangers
Helping others who are less fortunate or worse off than ourselves
Healing and restoration from a higher power
Belief in Jesus Christ and God’s Love
My loss of loved ones occurred during many different periods of my life’s journey. As a young adult, I lost my pledge son at college in a car wreck. In my early twenties my wife, and I lost our very young son to cancer. In my mid 30’s my Dad died at the early age of 57. The mother of my two kids died of a brain aneurism and my younger brother died of a heart attack at age 44. Much later in life, I lost my Mom to lung cancer and my wife to colon cancer.
There are two reasons I am telling you about these losses. The first reason is the hope you might realize I have experienced some of the pain and grief you may be going through. The second reason is to give you hope that someday things will improve, and you will have peace and happiness. After having so much loss in my personal journey, I am now happily married, connected to family, linked with friends, at peace with myself and excited about life. I owe my healing to my faith in God.
Most of my losses of loved ones happened when I didn’t have faith in Jesus. I don’t know how I survived, especially after the loss of our young son at 16 months old. Looking back, I believe for many years I was depressed, became a workaholic, got divorces, remarried and had strained relationships with family members. These losses of loved ones were enormously painful and my devastation frequently caused me to lose all hope.
If you currently have faith, in what or who is your faith placed? Why does your faith give you hope or why not?
In 1997 I met my future wife. Twenty seven months later she died of colon cancer. Although we both had strong faith, we were devastated by the news of her cancer. We couldn’t believe what was happening but we did have hope from our faith. Although my wife didn’t survive, she touched the lives of many people as she told them of her hopes, fears and feelings of peace. She offered words of wisdom and gave everyone she met hope for finding peace in their own lives. She was my strength and the inspiration for my poems about loss, love, and light on the website. My writing acted as a coping mechanism for dealing with my personal pain and the hope of helping others someday.
What might help with your loss, assist in healing and support you in finding peace?
For me, help came when I accepted Jesus as my Savior. My faith in Jesus and acceptance of God’s Love gave me strength. No matter what you are going through, I want you to know that God loves you. He loves you so much that He gave his only son so you could be saved from sin. He gave his son so you could experience His love, grace, forgiveness and eternal life.
Faith in God means believing in what you “can’t see”. This is called trusting God and accepting that God is the absolute “truth for us,” not what we can touch and see on Earth. We may not be able to see God’s Love, but our faith says it is always there. We know this because in the Bible, 1 Peter 1:8 says, “You love him even though you have never seen him; though not seeing him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with the inexpressible joy that comes from heaven itself.” Living Bible (TLB)
Right now, you probably have multiple feelings and emotions including terrible pain and extreme fear of loss. If you don’t know what to think or are confused, you might want to take a break and relax. Maybe you can take a short walk, sit silently for a while or think quietly to clear your mind.
Trusting in God means asking Him for help, this is called Prayer. We know this because in the Bible it says in Daniel 6:11, “Then these men went as a group and found Daniel* praying and asking God for help.” New International Version (NIV) (* Daniel was one of God’s faithful prophets to the Jews in the Old Testament)
Do you want to try a simple prayer such as, “Help me Lord because I am unable to help myself.” Or, maybe the Serenity Prayer by American Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. Used by AA.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change,
Courage to change things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.”
What are some steps you want to consider in your journey toward healing and finding peace? Also, what are some of the steps who might want to take in considering faith?
Personally, I think you have two choices to healing and finding peace. The first choice is intellectual or thinking from the mind. The second choice is passionate or faith from the heart. Either you have, “a logical belief based upon your own experience on Earth” or, “a belief based upon what you can’t see but have faith it is true.”
If you desire to continue your journey of exploring the world of Christian Faith, check out these three studies: Facing Trials & Trouble (Short Study I) Living in a Gray World without God (Short Study II) and Personal Journey and Purpose. (Short Study VII) These studies are easy to read, practical in their application and designed to answer your questions while you are on your personal faith journey.
The link to these free studies is: http://www.mensgroup.org/bible-studies
SUGGESTED CLOSING PRAYER
I pray you will accept that God is the key to healing your pain of loss and through your belief and faith in Him, you will be transformed, be renewed and find happiness.
All our Blessings,
Men’s Group Foundation, Inc.
(A mensgroup.org - “Original Study”)
A SPECIAL PRAYER FROM THE AUTHOR
I pray for your individual journey from painful loss to personal peace. I pray you find an individual or group of believers who will be with you on your journey and pray for your healing. Finally, I pray you will discover God’s Grace, the Holy Spirit and Eternal Salvation.
C. Marsh Bull
Men’s Group Foundation, Inc.
click the button below for A “PRINTER FRIENDLY” PDF OF this free study
Join our email list to stay in touch!
Get notified of updates such as when new studies are added.
Stay “in the know” about book giveaways (and other prizes).
We hate spam and will never sell or share your email address.