In life it is not common for all of us to experience loss in some way. It’s only natural that each person will express grief in their own way as well. And such factors as whether the loved one died suddenly or death came after a long illness might have bearing on the emotional reaction of the survivors. However one thing appears certain: Repressing your feelings can be harmful both physically and emotionally. It is far healthier to release your grief. How? Despite it’s age the Bible still holds certain advice that is still practical today.

Talking can be a helpful release. After the death of all ten of his children, and some other personal tragedies, the ancient patriarch Job said at (Job 1:2, 18, 19; 10:1) : “My soul certainly feels a loathing toward my life. I will give vent to my concern about myself. I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.” Job could no longer restrain his concern, like a brook it came bubbling forth. He needed to let it loose, he had to same something. Have you felt that way, compelled even to speak to strangers? Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth: “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.”

So being able to talk about your feelings to “a true companion”, who will listen patiently and sympathetically can bring some measure of relief, Proverbs 17:17 says: “A true companion is loving all the time, and is a brother that is born for when there is distress.” Putting experiences and feelings into words often makes it easier to understand them and to deal with them. And if the listener is another bereaved person who has dealt with his or her own loss, you may be able to garner some practical suggestions on how they coped.

Not all of us are comfortable talking about our feelings? Following the death of King Saul and his son Jonathon, the would be King David composed a highly emotional dirge in which he poured his grief. This mournful composition eventually became part of the Bible at Second Samuel 1:17-27 (2 Chronicles 35:25). Similarly, some find it easier to express themselves in writing. I myself find it so much easier to express my feelings in a poem or prose. It’s as though words I can’t find to say verbally come so freely in ink.

Whether by talking or writing, communicating your feelings can help you to release your grief. It can also help to clear up misunderstandings. Letting your feelings be known can help you to understand that even though you may be sharing the same loss, others may grieve differently- at their own pace and in their own way.

The Bible says at Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4: that there is “a time to weep”. Sometimes crying can facilitate the release of grief. No doubt the death of someone we love brings on such a time. Shedding tears of grief appears to be a necessary part of the healing process. Romans 12:15 says “Rejoice with people who rejoice, weep with people who weep.” You do not have to feel ashamed of your tears. The Bible is filled with many examples of men and women of faith, including Jesus Christ, who openly shed tears of grief without embarrassment.

It may be that you find that your emotions will be somewhat unpredictable. Tears may flow without warning. Yet be patient with yourself. Don’t feel that you have to hold back your tears. Remember, they are a natural and necessary part of grieving.

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