Thursday, July 2, 2015

Grief is NOT Self-Pity, Joel Osteen | The Rev. Sue Wintz



The popular minister is getting a lot of comments on his statement that grieving too long is attention-seeking and people should get over it.
Allowing mourners to be in their pain, without trying to make them change how they feel (often to make yourself and said others feel better), would actually be a more compassionate and more Christlike response. Why? Because trying to force a grieving person to feel better is like telling a double amputee to get up and run before she is ready: it's insensitive, lacks circumspection, and certainly doesn't even remotely resemble compassion. And Jesus seemed intent on compassion for the weakest amongst... didn't he? Are we talking about the same guy?
I suspect the psychological responses of the couple to whom you make reference in your book were exacerbated by judging others who, like you, are likely terrified to imagine what it would be like to see your own child's dead, cold body laying in a casket. I do understand. That is not an image you want in your mind is it, sir. 
So, instead of joining them in imagining that horror, one you really can never fathom until it is happening and, even then, the brain does all it can to protect itself from the utter atrocity of the experience, you -- and others - -use spiritual bypass to "lift up" -- only for many, these pushes toward premature healing don't lift up grieving parents -- they tear down and alienate and ostracize those who most need comfort and solidarity.
By joining them in the abyss, rather than "lifting them (forcibly) up," they see that others have stood by them, borne witness to their suffering, not averted their gaze, have offered their nonjudgmental heart and compassion, slowly, ever so slowly, integration comes. 
No, they do not "like the attention." No, they are not slathering in what you call "self-pity." Their child is dead.

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