How to cope with the death of a loved one
Image Credit: Anthony Intraversato
The passing away of Kobe Bryant, his friends, and his daughter Gianna, came as a shock to many of us.
It can be a very shocking thing when we lose someone who's either close to us, or has had such a great impact on our lives, and often we don't really know how to cope or respond to it.
I was speaking to one of my team members that lost her father when she was young. She had some profound things to share about it in light of TobyMac's new song '21 years'.
I pray it helps you.
So I wanted to share her words on how she dealt with losing her father. I pray it helps you if you're also facing a loss of someone significant in your life.
How to cope with loss?
For many, music can be a powerful way to process all the emotions that come with losing a loved one. One of those people is Christian Hip-Hop artist, Toby Mac.
Mac and his wife Anna recently lost their son, Truett. The 21-year-old suffered from a cardiac arrest on 23rd October 2019 in their family home in Tennessee.
Mac posted that his most recent release, ’21 Years’, started as words on paper to help him process losing his son, and turned into a track he hopes will help others. Listening to it really got me thinking about death, and what it can sometimes mean for us.
It never feels fair.
Losing someone you love can be so distressing and hard to process. Sometimes it doesn’t feel real, and it never feels fair. My dad died when I was 9, and by the time I was 11, I had no living grandparents left.
I rarely think about death as anything other than something that just happens. Maybe that’s because I’ve just grown up with it being a part of life. But listening to ‘21 Years’ made me realise how blessed I’ve been to be able to turn to God in times of grief and sadness.
One lyric that really stuck out to me was “why would you give and then take him away”. This is a question anyone who has lost someone to close them is bound to ask.
Why does a loving God put people in our lives who He’s just going to take away? I remember asking God this when my dad died, and even now when I think of all the things he never got to see me do, it makes me angry and confused.
The peace which is in me [God] will be in you.
And then I’m reminded of something it says in the bible, “Everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!” (John 6:33.)
Mac tweeted, “One thing I know is that I am not alone. God didn’t promise us a life of no pain or even tragic death, but He did promise He would never leave us or forsake us.”
I’m lucky to have good memories of my dad.
It’s not always easy. It doesn’t seem fair. But remembering all the things I do have has really helped me realise that I’m lucky enough to have good memories of my dad.
It’s been tough having one parent sometimes, but I have the best mum who’s been nothing but a rock for me growing up.
I don’t think I’ll ever get ‘over’ my dad’s death, and even 15 years on, I still miss him and find myself crying at the smallest thing that reminds me that he’s gone.
But I think Toby Mac explained it perfectly in the song, “God has you in heaven but I have you in my heart”. What a great reminder that the person you love may be gone, but they won’t be forgotten.