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Grieving with Hope

In my counseling work I see many clients struggling with grief. They struggle often because of the unhelpful ideas they have or others have given them about grief; our society impacts these unhelpful ideas as well. We hear ideas like "Grieving should be over after the one year anniversary of the lost loved one.", "Once you have dealt with your grief, it shouldn't come up again.", "After a year, you shouldn't get upset about losing your loved one anymore.". There are many other myths about grieving that are unhelpful to those who are bereaved. However, the truth is that grief is a normal reaction to loss and death, each person's experience of grief is unique, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Every loss is different and the grieving process is influenced by a multitude of issues. Grief never ends; we will always miss our loved one who has died and the pain of grief will always be around in some manner at times. Death may end a life, but it doesn't end a relationship. We can learn how to maintain a relationship with the loved one we have lost; though their physical body is no longer present with us, the love and connection that we share remains. For those who claim Christ and believe in His salvation for eternal life, we have a strong hope to cling to in our grief (1 Thessalonians 4:13). We do not have to grieve without hope, for we know what waits past death: eternity! Yes we will grieve and be saddened by our loss; this was someone we loved deeply and miss dearly. But we can grieve in light of the hope that we have and that puts our pain in a different perspective. There are days where the hope is hard to cling to and that is normal. However, if we will remind ourselves of Truth, we can experience joy even in our pain. If grieving with hope is difficult to do and the hope seems difficult to attain, consider Christian Counseling for the grief you are experiencing. It can be a powerful healing experience for you in your loss and pain.


Influencing Each Other

When we are in relationship with another, be it a friendship, romantic relationship, or a marriage, we have the ability to impact and influence each other. If we have hope and belief in the relationship, the relationship will be changed. Our positive attitudes and hope in the relationship can and will impact the other and the relationship itself. On the flip side, if we lose hope or stop having a positive attitude, the other in the relationship will sense that and be impacted. Think about times in your friendships or relationship when you have felt truly positive and hopeful about the relationship; I'd venture to say you notice something positive and hopeful in the other person. In relationships that are or have been particularly strained, this hope may take some time to infuse to the other, but it will. Just give it time. Take time to do things that communicate hope and belief in the relationship. In individual counseling or couples counseling with clients, I often focus on the power each partner has to communicate positive things and enact change in their relationships. By infusing hope, belief, and love into the relationship on a regular basis, your relationship can improve. If you are consistent, you'll notice impact on the other and in the relationship. It may not happen immediately and we are the society of quick fixes, so don't give up. Given time, the relationship will be influenced by your hope!