• Sharon Forster

When All Hope Is Gone

I didn’t know when I walked up the steps and said good night to my sister, that would be the last time I would see her. The next morning, I woke up, got dressed for work and went on my way. Work was not far from home, so I arrived early (about 7 am) and began my duties. I usually called my sister at 10 am to make sure she was up and things were okay. This time, when I called, there was no answer. I waited for 30 minutes and thought that maybe she was in the bathroom taking a shower. She would usually call me back, but I did not get a call. When I didn’t get a call, I tried again another two times before I asked my supervisor if I could go check on her. I had an eerie feeling in my stomach and I prayed that something bad had not happened. I left work and dashed to my house. I opened the door and ran to my sister’s room, praying that she would come out of the kitchen or bathroom and say that she didn’t hear the phone - and we would both laugh. That is not what happened .Her room door was still closed, and when I opened the door she was still in bed with her night clothes on. She looked stiff and bloated. I called 911 and the operator told me to perform CPR until the emergency squad would arrive. I checked her pulse and felt nothing. I knew in my heart that she was gone, but I was still hoping that what I was seeing and feeling was a lie. This was the beginning of my grief journey.

There is no order or category for grief. It can’t be hurried or controlled, pushed aside or ignored. When it comes to grief, there is no formula to follow or any normal reactions. Grief is a response to loss, especially the loss of a loved one. Grief can also be in response to another kind of significant loss, such as being fired from a job. The physical, emotional and even spiritual feelings can be so overwhelming that it can lead to feelings of helplessness, fear and isolation. Grieving is painful!

The day I lost my sister, it felt like the end of the world. So many thoughts went through my mind. It felt like I was living in a nightmare. I thought maybe if I closed my eyes, I would wake up from this nightmare and start my day all over again. I thought that this could not be happening; I had just seen her last night before going to bed. I was in complete denial. It then went from denial, to bargaining, to depression and back again. There were also times I felt angry that I had lost my best friend so unexpectedly. It took me a while before I finally came to accept what had happened.

There are five phases of grief that many people experience. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

1. Denial – maybe this is not happening.

2. Anger - Why did this happen?

3. Bargaining – If you (God) could turn this around I would _ _ _.

4. Depression – I don’t have energy to do anything.

5. Acceptance – I’m at peace knowing that my sister is with the Father.

These are common responses to loss, but there is no structure or timetable. As difficult as loss can be, it is possible to move forward with hope for the future. If you feel that you cannot move forward and you remain in a state of despair, unhappiness and depression, there is still hope for you. However, you may need to consider grief counseling.

Grief counseling at Life Focus Center will help you during this traumatic time. We will help you walk through the stages of grief in a healthy way, find meaning in life, know that God is with you, and allow the healing process to grow in you. We give you the time you need to move forward in your life. Grief counseling is not just for bereavement, but it could be for a loss of a job, loss of relationship and even loss of health. It is anything that you have experienced a loss in your life, and that loss is effecting you emotionally or physically. We want to be there for you so you can feel free to express your thoughts and feelings about what is going on in your life. Remember: God is our refuge and strength, a present help in the time of need (Psalm 46:1).

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