Forgiveness During Grief is Healing

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, October 21, 2019


Forgiveness is a powerful tool. It can reconcile many relationships, even those with people we have lost. Forgiveness is an important part of the healing process in overcoming the grief that surrounds you after a loss. Whether you are forgiving another family member, the deceased, or even yourself; it can be cathartic to be forgiving. Throughout life, we are taught to forgive. We are told to “be the bigger person.” It can be hard to get to the point in a situation where you are comfortable with forgiving. 

Why is Forgiveness Difficult?

Forgiveness is often hard because it can sometimes be equated with condoning, or being fine with what was said. Forgiveness is not ignoring the circumstances, but accepting them and growing from them. It may be easier to say “It’s not fair,” but that isn’t going to make you feel better. Truthfully, forgiveness might not make you feel better at first, but it can over time. Forgiveness is not a fast-fix solution to grief. It is just a step we can take towards becoming whole once more, whenever that may be.

Anger Towards the Deceased

When a loved one dies, we are hit with a veritable onslaught of emotions. Anger is often just one of them. We may feel anger for a number of reasons, but ultimately, this anger won’t solve anything. Anger towards a loved one who is no longer with us will only sour your feelings towards them, and make you feel guilty because of it. Overcoming the anger through forgiveness is the best way to traverse the waves of negative emotions felt during the grieving process. 

Anger in Grief

Anger can not only prevent us from accepting our grief, but it can bottle it up. Rage and hurt feelings can be as a cork in a dam. You won’t be able to overcome grief without letting emotions flow. You don’t have to be quick to forgive, but you shouldn’t let whatever caused the feelings of pain and hurt stop you from working through your grief. If something needs to be done, do it. But anger for the sake of anger brings nothing but pain, to yourself and others. Buddha had once stated “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

Self-Forgiveness

When it comes to the loss of a loved one, we are often wracked with guilt about the “should haves.” I should have apologized for this. I should have said yes to that. I should have been more careful. I should have been there. We, as humans, are going to have flaws. We are going to make mistakes. We have our limitations and weaknesses. Forgiving your mistakes is the first step towards preventing the same ones later. Forgiveness is a tool to grow. It is not a crutch to hold yourself up with when you make mistakes, but rather a guide towards preventing those mistakes in the future. 

Strength in Forgiving

Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts you can give to someone, including yourself. Forgive others, for yourself. That may sound selfish, but in truth, you are the person who your anger affects the most. Forgiveness has the potential to propel us forward and help us grow stronger. Start the process of forgiving slowly. Take an honest look at what that hurt has done for you. What have you missed out on by holding on to that hate? What have you really gained? At the end of the day, odds are that you have lost out on a lot more in life by maintaining that anger.

The author of this post is not a professional therapist or counselor. For assistance in finding a grief counselor that is right for you, there are a number of resources out there. For our Grief Resource center, written by Dr. Bill Webster, click here

For almost 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Event: Learn About Memorial Day

Matthew Funeral Home is offering an opportunity for children of the community to learn about Memorial Day. Join us for a memorial mass and a tribute to those who served our country on Monday, May 3...

Religious Holidays and Losing the Older Generation

With religious holidays such as Easter, Ramadan, and Passover just around the corner, it is common for those of faith to follow their respective traditions. As more of the younger generations becom...

Remembering a Loved One on Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is often a time for love and spending time with your significant other. But, after the loss of your partner or spouse, it can be a painful day. Holidays can often trigger emotions a...

Setting Grief Resolutions in the New Year

Working through your grief is not something that can be done in a short amount of time. Processing loss takes time and growth. This article will discuss ways to look towards the New Year and set g...

The Importance of Close Friends After a Loss

It is easy to feel lost and alone after the loss of a loved one. Thankfully, you aren’t truly alone. Your friends are there to love and support you. Sometimes, all you have to do is reach out. Fri...

What is a Mausoleum?

Dotted across many local cemeteries are ornate stone buildings called mausoleums. These monuments are designed to house remains above ground. Why do people choose mausoleums to be their final resti...

On Writing a Veteran's Eulogy

When a loved one passes away, it is important for a close family member or friend to write a eulogy for them. When a veteran passes, there are additional aspects to consider mentioning in your spee...

Preparing for Holiday Depression

Autumn is finally here, and with it comes shortening days and holiday gatherings. Holiday depression sets in during this time for many Americans. This article will discuss what holiday depression i...

Your Children and the Death of a Pet

The death of a family pet is often the first death a child will experience. Children develop strong emotional attachments to their pets. They will relate to them as siblings, playmates, and protect...

Which Documents Should I Hold Onto

For estate planning, taxes, lines of credit, end-of-life forms, and more; it can be difficult to determine which documents are important to hold onto. Which forms do you need? How stuffed can your ...