How to Grieve 

There are recovery programs for people grieving the loss of a parent, sibling, or spouse. You can buy books on how to cope with the death of a beloved pet or work through the anguish of a miscarriage. We speak openly with one another about the bereavement that can accompany a layoff, a move, a diagnosis, or a dream deferred. But no one really teaches you how to grieve the loss of your faith. You’re on your own for that.

Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday   

Hurting from Loss

Love anything that lives--a person, a pet, a plant--and it will die. Trust anybody and you may be hurt; depend on anyone and that one may let you down. The price of cathexis (letting something or someone become important to us) is pain. If someone is determined not to risk pain, then such a person must do without many things: having children, getting married, the ecstasy of sex, the hope of ambition, friendship - all that makes life alive, meaningful and significant.

Move out or grow in any dimension and pain as well as joy will be your reward. A full life will be full of pain. But the only alternative is not to live fully or not to live at all.. The attempt to avoid legitimate suffering lies at the root of all emotional illness.

M Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

Resilient in the face of trauma

For at least a century, psychologists have assumed that terrible events—such as having a loved one die or becoming the victim of a violent crime—must have a powerful, devastating, and enduring impact on those who experience them. This assumption has been so deeply embedded in our conventional wisdom that people who don’t have dire reactions to events such as those are sometimes diagnosed as having a pathological condition known as “absent grief.” But recent research suggests that the conventional wisdom is wrong that the absence of grief is quite normal, and that rather than being the fragile flowers that a century of psychologists have made us out to be, most people are surprisingly resilient in the face of trauma. The loss of a parent or spouse is usually sad and often tragic, and it would be perverse to suggest otherwise.

But as one group of researchers noted, “Resilience is often the most commonly observed outcome trajectory following exposure to a potentially traumatic event.” Instead, studies of those who survive major traumas suggest that the vast majority do quite well, and that a significant portion claim that their lives were enhanced by the experience

Why do most of us shake our heads in disbelief when an athlete who has been through several grueling years of chemotherapy tells us that “I wouldn’t change anything,” or when a musician who has become permanently disabled says, “If I had it to do all over again, I would want it to happen the same way,” or when quadriplegics and paraplegics tell us that they are pretty much as happy as everyone else? The claim made by people who have experienced events such as these seem frankly outlandish to those of us who are merely imagining those events—and yet, who are we to argue with the folks who’ve actually been there?

The fact is that negative events do affect us, but they generally don’t affect us as much or for as long as we expect them to.

Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling into Happiness

The Pit

You have become acquainted with disappointments, broken dreams, and disillusionment. Crisis seems to be your closest companion. Like a ten-pound sledge, your heartache has been pounding you dangerously near desperation. Unless I miss my guess, negativism and cynicism have crept in. You see little hope around the corner. As one wag put it, "The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming train." You are nodding in agreement, but probably not smiling. Life has become terribly unfunny.

Tired, stumbling, beaten, discouraged friend, taken heart! The Lord God can and will lift you up. No pit is so deep that he is not deeper still. No valley so dark that the light of His truth cannot penetrate.

Charles Swindoll, Encourage Me