When we sat down for this week’s Grief Share, I honestly didn’t think it pertained to me. We looked specifically at the trauma associated with complicated loss such as murder, suicide and multiple deaths (whether from an accident, a natural disaster, or a horrific event like occurred in Vegas).
These are types of loss I cannot (and hopefully never will) identify with. They can understandably be more complex and come with a entirely different set of emotions than losing someone from, say, old age or health complications. But, while those types of loss may be more associated with true trauma, I did learn something important tonight — any loss can be traumatic. (Read as: this message is for everyone.)
When I looked up the definition of trauma, this is what I found:
trau·ma [noun]1. a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.“a personal trauma like the death of a child”
That was the example used in the dictionary definition. Hmmm…I guess that is me.
So after opening up my heart to this week’s lesson, I was able to take away some key elements to guide me in my grief. And what I learned is actually quite simple.
Positive Thoughts = Positive Feelings
Negative Thoughts = Negative Feelings
Here’s another way to think about it….
How we interpret ourselves, our grief, and our relationship with God are key in how we move forward after a traumatic loss.
Do I see myself as a victim? Do I view God as the perpetrator? Do I find value and meaning in life even in the physical absence of my loved one?
Our brains are such a powerful thing. With them, we can sew turmoil or seek truth. We can convince our hearts to loathe or to love. We can choose to accept or accuse. While many thoughts may enter your head in a time of trauma, be wise about which ones you let settle into your heart.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he… – Proverbs 23:7