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Dealing with the pain of losing a loved one at their prime age (Part 1)

Pain is part of life yet it is undesirable by all means. Naturally, pain should be avoided even when it means losing some resources such as money and time. Everything else stops to give way to means of managing or eliminating pain where possible.

Pain must be controlled because if it is not, it can have serious consequences to its victims. The good thing is that the Bible records instances of pain experienced by some of Bible icons such as Job and David. Through their experiences, we learn how God helped them deal with their pain, which helps us understand how we also can deal with our pain.

Situations, circumstances, expressions and responses differ but the same word ‘pain’ explains what a person goes through when they have lost a loved one.

 

Types of pain

In this article I will focus on pain of losing someone dear to you through death. However, I do want to highlight a number of things that can inflict pain to a person other than the loss to death. This leads me to the reality of emotional and physical pain which often goes together when someone has lost a loved one. It is true that sometimes physical pain graduates to emotional pain and sometimes emotional pain graduates to physical pain. There is also another aspect of pain which I would call ‘Spiritual pain’.

Dealing with pain of any of these types differs and one method may not work for all. Often when pain strikes a person would react naturally without control for a moment. At that time, it would seem like the person has lost his or her senses yet it is only from the influence of the pain s/he feels. Some people do things they would never recall they did or even things they will regret having done when they later learn about their behavior.

It is therefore important to have people that can guide and advise people that suffer the loss of their loved one. There are qualified physicians, councilors and practitioners that can give excellent guide and advise when people go through the pain of losing a loved one but I will take the spiritual approach which is basically God of Christian’s approach. Before I go into that, I would like to go give brief explanations of the three types of pain; emotional, physical and spiritual.

 

Emotional pain

Emotional pain can sometimes be referred to as psychological or mental pain. It is not possible to completely eliminate this pain at a go and sometimes one has got to live with it for a lifetime. There are possibilities of dealing with emotional pain to minimize its severity on the victim. Medical means often fail to control emotional pain but religious solutions often have work better and faster.

Death of a loved one inflicts emotional pain to those that are related or care about someone. Other examples include the loss of an opportunity, feeling for a friend who is going through undesired experiences such as a divorce, pain from an investment that went wrong, etc.

Too much or extended periods in emotional pain can cause or inflict bodily reactions which may then turn into physical pain.

 

Physical pain

Physical pain is a distressing feeling often caused by intense or damaging stimuli. One of the first recorded natural and timeless pain in the Bible is that of woman when giving birth. All body ailments such as tooth and head ache come naturally and they are perfect examples of physical pain.

Physical pain can also develop to emotional pain which is often called depression.

 

Spiritual pain

There is a spiritual world that cannot be seen by the natural eye yet its existence is connected to our lives. The Bible confirms this world when it says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12). This confirms that there is a world beyond the physical life we experience.

The separation of men from God in the Garden of Eden was one form of spiritual pain. In our time, spiritual pain is experienced when the relationship with Jesus Christ is dented by sin.

In Part 2, we will take examples of painful experiences that some of God’s children went through in their lives. Focus will be given to David’s experience of losing two of his sons; one an infant and the other at the prime time of his age.

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About Musawenkosi Dube

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