© Betty Sue Eaton
|A Christian Grief Ministry
Spring is rapidly approaching and it's time to air out, rearrange, clean up and clear out!
With this new year, I hope you vowed to make a new beginning. Now, why not go a little
further and clean up your spiritual house as well!
If you have recently lost a loved one and have been going through the very difficult work of
grieving that loss; maybe it's time to set some new goals, some positive goals for the rest of
your life. Never would I discount the breaking of your heart and the missing of your loved
one, but I will tell you this: God gave us only a limited time on this earth to fulfill His purpose
for our lives here. Maybe now is the time to refocus on that purpose and try to get on with
I have found there are several ways to take back control of your life in the face of tragedy.
One such way is to engage in physical labor, hard work! When you're doing something that
requires muscle, there is little time to linger over heartbreak and pain. So here are some of
the ways to get into it.
Your house has been closed up for the Winter, and if it is like mine, it's more than a little
stale. It could use an airing out. Why not get out the window cleaner and make those eyes
onto the rest of the world sparkle! They not only let others view your home with
appreciation, they allow you to look out on the rest of the sparkling world! When I'm feeling
less than sparkling myself, I have found it really brightens up my spirit to see the sunshine
God has sent my way throughout the day.
Perhaps the woodwork in your home has been showing the ravages of being neglected
because of your grief. I can understand the general malaise one endures when deep in the
work of getting used to a death in the family. So get out the mop bucket, scrub brush, soap
and sponge and roll up your sleeves, then apply some good old-fashioned elbow grease to
those baseboards, door frames and cabinet fronts! Not only will you have worked hard on
your house, you have worked hard on mending your spirit. And it will show like a bright
freshly scrubbed face of a youngster who has needed it for too long!
And speaking of youngster, another way to mend your heart is to take your child - or if you
haven't one, borrow a relative's or a friend's. Take that child to a park or school playground
and play. I mean literally PLAY! Get in that swing, climb that Jungle Jim, hand walk those
parallel bars, make yourself tired from having some FUN! Listen to that child laugh and call
out to you to follow him. Then on your way back home, detour by the ice cream shop and
both of you have your favorite treat! Not only will you have lifted your own spirits, you have
given a child a remarkable day or afternoon out to be just a kid and having a great time!
A friend of mine who lost her husband very unexpectedly chose for her work going out into
the pine forest and photographing scenic views as she and Jim had done so very many
times. During that outing, she imagined him along with her, talking with him, asking him for
his 'take' on a certain aspect and thoroughly enjoyed the day alone with her now deceased
husband. She said it was some of the hardest work that she had ever done, but she felt
refreshed that evening at home. Plus an added benefit, she took some great shots and
now cherishes them. To take that premise even further, take those photographs to a
nursing home and share them with shut-ins who can't go beyond the front doors of their
homes. The appreciation you will see in their eyes can do nothing but brighten your own.
These are only a few of the ways you can Spring-clean your spirit after a long cold winter
of grieving and will be worth much more than they have cost you to read them here. In turn,
you can pass along the experience you have gained for new insights to moving past your
grief and beginning to think in terms of 'the future' instead of looking back at a very painful
If you ask God to guide you through these labors, He will, and you might be surprised if you
listen very closely, He might show you even more ways to move closer to Him and His
purpose for you. He will bless you and comfort you in your journey through one of His dark
paths in this mortal life as He waits for you to come Home also, even as your loved one has.