The death of those we love is always devastating, and it can often feel as though a part of us has also died. As a church we are committed to helping you in any way we can during this sad and difficult period. How you respond to a death will be very individual and personal.
Below are some things that people often say when someone dies. They may help you to understand some of the experiences you may have or will go through, and realise you are not alone in what you are going through.
‘I can’t believe it’
It may take you a long time to grasp what has happened, whilst some people carry on as if nothing happened. It is hard to believe someone important in your life is not coming back.
‘I feel nothing’
The shock of bereavement can often leave people feeling numb, you may feel as though you are in a different world.
‘Why did it have to happen?’
Death can seem cruel and unfair, especially when you feel someone has died before their time or when you had plans together for the future.
‘I feel such pain’
Physical and emotional pain can often accompany bereavement, at times it can feel overwhelming and very frightening, although it does tend to get easier over time.
‘I go over it again and again’
You can’t stop thinking about the events leading up to the death.
You may feel guilty about things you said or did or that you didn’t say or do.
‘I feel so depressed, life has no meaning, I can’t go on’
Many people say there are times after a death when they feel there is nothing worth living for.
‘I hear and see her, what is wrong with me?’
Thinking you are hearing or seeing someone who has died is a common experience and can happen when you least expect it.
‘They said I’d be over it in a few months’
Everyone’s experience is different, and many people find it takes much longer to learn to cope without someone they love.
‘One minute I’m angry and the next minute I can’t stop crying’
Many people find mood swings very frightening.
Hope in the face of death
At the heart of the Christian faith is the belief in a God who knows, understands and loves us. Whether we journey slowly or quickly through our grief, God can bring us his comfort.
… in our anger and numbness—God understands us
… in our guilt and regret—God gives us peace
… in our fear and doubt—God holds us
… in our isolation and loneliness—God is with us
Christians also believe that even in the face of death, there is hope for the future, because Jesus took on and defeated death through his own death and resurrection.
I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared. God will make his home among his people. He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. (Revelation 21:1, 3-4)
Dear Jesus, who wept at the death of your friend
and taught that they who mourn shall be comforted,
grant us the comfort of your presence in our loss.
Send Your Holy Spirit to direct us
lest we make hasty or foolish decisions.
Send Your Spirit to give us courage
lest through fear we recoil from living.
Send Your Spirit to bring us your peace
lest bitterness, false guilt,
or regret take root in our hearts. Amen.
If you would like to know more about the Christian faith, please speak to a member of St Martin’s clergy.