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Five Strategies to Clear the Way for a Grief Breakthrough

The loss of a loved one is difficult enough but what often follows are impossible questions, bitter anger and self-accusatory thoughts that nag us with what ifs and should-have-dones.

What lifts us out of the quicksand of such a situation and puts us on the path of healing? What puts lingering questions to rest and transforms pit-sinking sorrow into peace?

woman in brown coat and purple scarf holding silver tablet

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

I believe the course of our grief changes with breakthroughs, aka epiphanies, or “aha” moments. I adopted the term “revelations” the year after my dad died. Whatever the name, these are sudden, transformative thoughts or realizations that shift our perspective and give us healing.

I experienced a series of breakthroughs that helped me forgive myself as a stressed-out caregiver to Mom. I accepted the inability to be perfectly loving and knowing. I accepted her dire need to control things. Her world was falling apart. She was trying to cope, and I was, too, in our individually different ways.

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Shut In & Sad: 9 Coping Strategies

I thought I needed to get around people. What I needed was to be alone.

I’m a loner of sorts. A homebody. An introvert. I was raised by a woman who left the house only two or three times a year. When the stay-at-home orders came down amid COVID-19 fears, I thought “I’ve got this.” I was right – for about a week.

woman inside the car

Photo by emre keshavarz on

Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband, and I love his company. The primary breadwinner, he took over my home office. I willingly gave up my chair, but I itched to go to the coffee shop and hang around perfect strangers. And go for walks. Alone.

And then as the days wore on, I got angry. Not at my hubby. I believed I was angry at being confined. Have you ever been sad-angry? Or angry-sad? I think that was my affliction. I wasn’t afraid. I was angry.

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What Does “God is in Control” Really Mean?

We hear the phrase slip out of the lips of well-meaning friends at funerals – and we hear it now that a pandemic seeds fear and anxiety into our hearts and lives.

But what does “God is in control” really mean?

woman wearing sunhat

Photo by Tuấn Kiệt Jr. on

First, what it does not mean?

It does not mean God sets out to harm us.  He is not pitted against us. He is not a puppet master out to get you, to poke you until you bleed. Nor is He uncaring.

That’s what we hear sometimes, though. A husband, brother or father dies and someone tells us “God is in control” and we think, “God caused this death? God caused him to suffer? God wants me to suffer?”

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