Losing a loved one is never easy. Whether it’s the result of a sudden accident or a prolonged illness, we can never emotionally prepare for one’s passing.
While most of us experience grief in some form during our lives, the process differs for each person. We all grieve in our own way and on our own time. Some of us may find the beginning of the grieving process much more difficult to overcome, while others may struggle with the depression stage. This is okay.
As painful as it might feel, grief is necessary to our healing and helps us grow.
We put together this collection of encouraging Bible verses to comfort those experiencing the five stages of grief.
God is our protection and our strength. He always helps in times of trouble. — Psalm 46:1
Denial is the first stage of grief. Many times, our first reaction is to deny the loss of a loved one—a friend, a parent, a child, a spouse or even a pet.
Coming to terms with the loss is one of the first steps in our grief journey. Our first thought is to deny the news and hope we are imagining the whole situation. While denial is normal during the grieving process, it’s important to remember that God is always there for you. This verse from the book of Psalms can help you through the denial stage and move you towards healing.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger. — Ephesians 4:26
When you enter the anger stage of the grieving process, you may tend to lash out and blame others for your loss.
While it’s perfectly okay to feel angry and vent your feelings, this verse reminds us not to allow our anger to affect others. Instead, find healthy ways to express your emotions like going for a walk or venting to a confidant. Find loved ones who will listen to your struggle and encourage you.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. — Ephesians 5:17
Step three of the grieving process is when you may find yourself trying to bargain for a different scenario than the one you just experienced. When we bargain, we make promises to help us avoid the pain of accepting the situation. We focus on our personal regrets and recall times we may have hurt the person we’re losing.
However, God takes us as we are and does not bargain. This verse from Ephesians reminds us that God has a reason. May it give you the strength to continue through your grief and help you heal emotionally and spiritually.
Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. — Matthew 5:4
As you begin to move out of the bargaining stage, you might find yourself in a state of depression and deep sadness. At this point, you may feel emotionally and physically removed from your family and friends. It might feel impossible to face the day to day of life, so you choose to remain isolated.
While depression may feel unbearable at times, comfort from those close to you can help ease your sadness. If you or someone you know is in the depression stage of the grieving process, remember this beatitude from the book of Matthew.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. — Psalm 23:4
As difficult as it may be to go through the grieving process, it does get better. During the acceptance stage, you begin to fully acknowledge your loss and allow yourself to move forward.
No matter the difficulty of the previous stages, know that God is always with you and will never put you through something he doesn’t think you can handle.
Grief Is Not Linear
One limitation of the five stages of grief is that it does not express how unique the process is for each person. Though there are five general stages, grieving is not linear. You may experience anger unexpectedly later on in the process or find yourself bargaining immediately following a loss.
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