Death is a life-changing loss and that’s a fact of life. The road is never smooth, as one moves from the time when one’s relative is sick, to the time of death until after the death of the loved one. The walk and the road have never been rosy and it’s expedient that one travels it without avoiding any of the terrain one might meet along the way. The terrain will never be the same for grieved people. The walk requires us to be able to mourn our beloved one. Our inner feelings and what we think often comprise what we show to the outside world. Our crying, groaning etc are what comprise mourning. Both grieving and mourning are essential components on this walk. It’s a basic human instinct to grieve when a beloved one dies. In order to recover and receive inner healing and health, it’s imperative for one to mourn.
The following are important, undeniable facts you need to know about death and grief.
Fact A — Death is as real as life
Somebody alluded that every time we go to bed and sleep we are practising dying or death. We never really put an effort to breathe; it comes naturally. The same happens when we want to sleep. Most of the time, sleep steals us and we just pass out and wake up the following morning, by the grace of God. It is important to realise that, like life, death is real and it’s imperative for you to realise that the person who has died is not coming back again in the flesh.
Fact B — Death Hurts
When a death occurs, people want to comfort the bereaved by saying “we understand your pain”. What do they understand? Each death is unique and each pain is unique. Relationships are unique, therefore it is important to understand that you will hurt and will need to make sure you deal with the pain head-on. To refuse that we are not hurting is not real. God, the ultimate being, has put in us enough shock absorbers to absorb the pain – the pain will be there but it will be absorbed, sometimes quickly but most of the time slowly.
Fact C — Death and our Relationship with the Dead
The fact that your beloved has died does not mean that it has to be forgotten that they ever lived. The God who created us believes in our future, hence also believes in our history. Everyone has a history and as such it’s healthy to have memories of the person who has died, whether bad or good. Our minds create the history and relationship with the deceased. Many people are afraid or are made to fear to think about or even keep memorabilia of a deceased person. The fear is unfounded and sometimes advice given is erroneous in that we are told to throw everything the deceased used to own away so that we do not remember them again.
Fact D — Death and a New You
Death, as alluded to earlier, is a life-changing loss and it should never be denied that it changes your status in life, that is, spiritually, emotionally and physically. One never remains the same. One’s station and designation in life shifts after the death of one’s loved one. Whether we like it or not, other people will view us differently and will call us differently, because in their hearts you are now different from who you were before the loss.
Fact E — Death vs Life Purpose
Since time immemorial man has always asked the question “What is the purpose of life?” and many still ask the same question today. Different cultures have varying answers to why we were placed here on planet Earth. Also divergent cultures and communities have dissimilar answers to the question “Why should people die?” I believe we all have partial knowledge and sometimes what we know is erroneous. However, God will give us the full picture when we meet Him, because humanly speaking, death is not understandable.
Fact F — No one is an Island As human beings we hurt, we mourn, we grieve when someone dies and that’s perfectly normal. Extended family members, friends and others can provide a human shield as they encourage us to go through our grief until we are completely healed. It may take long to grieve but the above network needs to provide enough shock absorbers so that you do not fall on hard ground, but find solace and comfort in the fact that there are some people who are ready who will try to find solutions to these problems on your behalf.
Fact G — Death and Futuristic Views
Many people live pretending there is no death. A lot of people ignore the fact that they are one day going to die. A lot of people put their heads in the sand like an ostrich and pretend there are no other variables. It’s important to live life knowing that one day you are going to transfer from this planet. Many people prepare for a journey to go to another city, town or country, but a lot of us don’t want to prepare for our last journey – death. Why? While you are alive you need:
l a life policy
l a good home for your family to live in
l a funeral policy
l A good bank account, a will and so on.
The Good Book, the Bible, says: “A good man/woman leaves an inheritance for his children’s children. . .” Even during biblical days people used to have a futuristic approach to death; people prepared for death. Jesus himself had to be temporarily buried in someone else’s tomb.
There is nothing wrong with making preparations, for example getting or taking out a life or funeral policy for yourself or your beloved relatives. Some people say “those who are still alive will arrange everything for me”.
I feel that’s irresponsible and also a form of disorder in one’s life.
Chomi Makina is the current president of the Zimbabwe Association of Funeral Assurers and Group Chief Executive Officer for Moonlight and Mashfords and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Grief Share Sessions are held every Tuesday at 17:30hrs at