When someone dies, the survivor can feel dead inside. A death can take away someone else’s identity and stop their lives right in their tracks.
For the Christian, this can bring questioning such as, “Where is God?” “Why does he seem so distant?”
A powerful and though-provoking podcast from LifeSupport features a woman who endured extreme pain and loss but was still able to thank and love God even more than before.
Kim knew her mother loved her since she was born, but she also knew that her mother dealt with deep depression. When Kim was 17 years-old, her mother took her own life.
Although it was very difficult for Kim to process her mother’s death to suicide, life kept going and she went to college, where she met her future husband. The two got married and had children.
Kim and her husband, Jim, hit a bump in the road when Jim was diagnosed with liver cancer. He was only given a five percent chance to live, but he received a liver transplant and he would recover. Six months later when things to seemed to be getting better in Kim’s life, the unthinkable happened.
Kim and Jim’s son, Eric took his own life just 45 minutes after a break-up with his girlfriend.
Her world was shattered. She didn’t know how to process it all. Feelings of guilt and shame came flooding into Kim’s mind. For Kim, it felt like she couldn’t breathe for the next two years.
With the help of counseling for her depression, and with the support of people in her church, Kim was able to believe that her son was in Heaven and with God. She knew that she would see him again someday.
Kim was dealt with another blow years later when her husband, Jim, passed away from liver cancer.
Simple Ways To Walk Alongside
In the LifeSupport podcast, Kim gave some important reminders for someone walking along someone who just experienced a loss:
- Be Present and Listen: In today’s culture, it seems like we are always trying to fix and resolve issues and quickly as possible. When it comes to a survivor of a loved one’s death, there is no quick fix. The best thing to do is to be present and emotionally available to that person. If they say anything to you, just listen, and don’t worry what to say. Sometimes, a person grieving just wants to get out whatever they have to say at the time.
- Remember the Person – In the LifeSupport podcast, Kim said one of her biggest fears was for people to forget about her son’s life. People fear that their loved ones will be forgotten. It is good for those in support to talk about the life of the person and that can comfort the survivor, knowing that their loved one is still on the minds of others.
- Look for God’s Plan – As difficult it is to watch someone grieve the loss of a loved one, it is always important to remember that God has a plan for everyone involved. Try to see what your part is in that plan.
Joy In Suffering
Kim’s story is difficult, but through it all she has peace knowing that her God is in control of everything that happens in this world. For her, there is an unexplainable joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. She knows that God has a perfect plan for her life.
We provide the resources of lifesupportresources.org free of charge to help start discussions about mental health and to help remove stigma so people can find hope and healing through God. We pray that LifeSupport helps you grow your church.
If there are other reasons you don’t share your struggles, we’d love to hear them and will treat your communication as confidential. Please email any comments to [email protected]