Because we know that death is not the end, we might feel that it’s “wrong” to grieve when someone dies. But that’s not true.
Grief is a natural part of mortal life. Even the Savior wept when His friend Lazarus died.
“Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of pure love,” said President Russell M. Nelson. “It is a natural response in complete accord with divine commandment: ‘Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die’ [Doctrine and Covenants 42:45].”
People can also grieve for reasons other than death. Any loss can trigger grief. It’s good to understand that everyone grieves differently and on a different timetable. That being said, most people experience these emotions, though not necessarily in this order:
- Denial: We can’t believe it. We might pretend it’s not happening. We might be in shock.
- Anger: Anger is an expression of the value we place on what we have lost. We may even feel angry with God at times.
- Bargaining: We might try to bargain with God to alter things. Such as, “I’ll promise to go to the temple every week if you make her well again.”
- Sadness: The sadness of grief can be powerful and overwhelming. It’s a normal part of the grieving process.
- Acceptance: This doesn’t mean we’re happy about what happened or that we’re forgetting the person who died. It just means we’re accepting reality so we can start to move on.
If you are mourning a loss today, know that the Lord can help you through this grieving process. Parents, Church leaders, teachers, counselors, and doctors are also available if your feelings are so intense that they prevent you from functioning. Together, we look forward to the day when “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying” (Revelation 21:4).
Adapted from the article “Almost everyone will experience it at some point” in the Gospel Living app.