Critical Care in Perilous Times
Robin M. Campbell
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.~ Ecclesiastes 3:1
Eighteen months ago, my dad died in a fire. Two months ago, one of my children died unexpectedly. Death is what most people would consider a loss, and would expect that grief would follow. Grief counseling has helped me tremendously. The Covid-19 Pandemic has caused global disruption and emotional suffering. Grief counseling, along with the counsel of your Pastor and the prayers of the saints, can help if you are struggling with the interruption of what was normal that has been caused by the Pandemic.
Loss is defined as the damage, trouble, disadvantage, or deprivation caused by being without something you once had.
Loss can come in many different forms:
· loss of health (sickness due to cancer, stroke, diabetes)
· loss of mobility (becoming wheelchair-bound after an accident)
· loss of a relationship (divorce)
During the Covid-19 Pandemic, the world is experiencing loss in many ways:
· loss of life (death)
· loss of health (sickness)
· loss of freedom (Stay at Home Orders)
· loss of finances (layoffs and job losses)
· loss of personal relationships (working from home and homeschooling)
· loss of personal touch (quarantine, social distancing and wearing facial coverings)
· loss of key milestones (graduations, proms, birthday or anniversary celebrations, vacations)
· loss of hope (there is no end in sight)
· loss of everything that was normal in our lives
Ecclesiastes 3:1-17 provides a snapshot of life in God’s word, describing the seasonality of life, and life’s ups and downs. We all understand that God has not promised us good times, sunshine, and happiness every day of our life. None of us, however, has experienced the disruption and despair that have come with the Covid-19 Pandemic. All-day, every day, we hear about the death toll, the number of people infected with the virus, and the highest unemployment rate in US history. Bad news abounds.
Grief is defined as intense emotional suffering caused by loss, disaster, or misfortune.
Global grief is being caused by the change and turmoil that has impacted us during the Pandemic.
Imagine falling off a ladder, and breaking your leg.
· In a moment, your life has changed!
· You would have physical injuries.
· You would feel pain.
· You would not be able to move on your own.
· You would need the immediate assistance of trained medical personnel to help with life-threatening injuries (think surgery).
· You would need long-term assistance from medical personnel to get back to feeling ‘normal’ again (think physical therapy).
There is no way that you could move past your injury without some type of help!
The upheaval that we are experiencing from the Covid-19 pandemic can impact us in many of the same ways that falling off a ladder would.
· In a matter of weeks, your life has changed!
· You experience suffering, distress, or misfortune.
· You feel emotional pain.
· You may not be able to move forward on your own.
· What you are feeling is grief.
· You may need assistance to get back to feeling ‘normal’ again (think therapy/grief counseling).
· You may not be able to move through the losses from the Pandemic without some type of help!
After my dad passed away, I felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach and I could not breathe. I was working every day, going to church and serving the Lord, reading my bible and praying, and going through the motions of my life, but I still was hurting. One of the best decisions that I made was to locate a therapist and get counseling. Grief counseling helped me to work through the pain of losing my dad. And I am in grief counseling again to help me through the pain of losing my child.
God created us. He created our bodies and our minds. Just as he has medical professionals (I think of them as angels) to help us when we hurt physically, he has provided medical professionals to help us when we hurt emotionally. If you are feeling distressed or anxious, angry or depressed, overwhelmed or hopeless; if you are not feeling ‘normal’ anymore, please talk to your Pastor, ask for the prayers of the saints, and locate a therapist to help you work through the emotional pain that you are feeling. Even David had times in his life where he didn’t think he could make it: in Psalm 27:13 he said “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Don’t faint – get help!
The colors of life are made up of good times and bad times, joy and pain, love, and loss. They all work together (for me at least) to make me appreciate each day that God gives me for the gift that it is, and to help me to live each moment to the fullest. If it seems like you are only having bad times, pain, and loss – please get help. The Covid-19 Pandemic is just a season in our lives. God has healing and laughter and dancing and births and harvest and love and peace in store for us.
Always remember your Pastor and the prayers of the saints should be included in every step of the way.
For more information about handling grief and loss, I recommend the article “Dealing with Grief and Loss” by Wendy Tucker, MA, CMHC, CSAYC. It can be found at https://www.turningpointfwc.com/post/dealing-with-grief-loss.