Dealing with death is most effectively done by surrendering our trauma feelings and symptoms to the Lord Jesus. Why Jesus? Who is Jesus? Jesus is God’s son who is the only one who can save us from our sins and a life in hell. God’s Word tells us “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). Jesus is the only hope we have.
For more encouragement on dealing with death, keep reading the devotional below, taken from Hope Beyond Homicide: Remembrance Devotionals.
Healing and Helping Practices
Tina C. Elacqua, Mother, University Professor
And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NRSV)
Just this morning, I screamed when my husband, Laird, knocked on the glass window of my shower. Did I know Laird was in the house? Absolutely! I even knew he was in the master bedroom, just a few feet away from me, getting ready for work. I could visually see him when I showered. However, I startle easily now, post-homicide. All of us who have been traumatized by losing loved ones to homicide, experience many frightful symptoms. If you are like me, don’t despair! Seek the Lord for practices that can help you manage the trauma symptoms.
Some practices that will assist you in managing and healing from trauma symptoms include:
Temporary Coping Mechanisms (okay for a short time):
- denial and avoidance
- staying busy (e.g., work, community involvement)
Entertainment/Self-care Coping Mechanisms:
- pampering yourself
- escape through reading books and watching movies
Physical Coping Mechanisms:
- yawning and stretching (helps control thoughts by bringing you back to reality, relieving anxiety and tension and promoting relaxation
- tensing and releasing various parts of the muscles/body until you feel like a rag doll
- taking three deep breaths
- activities (e.g., yard work, cleaning)
Visual Coping Mechanism:
- imagining yourself at a beautiful place, detailing everything about the place such as the smell, sight, taste, etc.
Community Coping Mechanisms:
- talking to friends and loved ones
- joining a support group
- attending a homicide function such as a homicide retreat, homicide walk, candlelight service for homicide-loss survivors
Spiritual Coping Mechanisms:
- develop a renewed mind – (i.e., taking thoughts captive to Christ by replacing every negative, destructive, unwanted, and intrusive thought or memory with positive thoughts and God’s Word)
- spending quiet time with the Lord
- reading God’s Word
- praying, even praying specifically for the murderer(s) (Romans 12:14-21)
- memorizing Scripture
- writing and verbally recounting God’s faithfulness
(Psalm 145:1-2, 5-6, 21).
- singing God’s praises
- journaling/writing devotionals that apply God’s Word to life and specifically the tragedy
If you are feeling helpless, hopeless, and struggling with these trauma symptoms, learn how to manage the symptoms by exploring some of the practices above. Just choose one and see how it works for you. Know that it will take practice and diligence, but with determination and persistence, these new habits will become second nature and will aid in your healing process.
Thank You, Heavenly Father, that You provide Your presence and practices to help me in this healing process. Thank You that You are transforming me into the image of Your Son. Please direct me to the practices that will help facilitate my healing. Amen.
TIME OF PERSONAL REFLECTION & LIFE APPLICATION:
One of the trauma symptoms I enjoy practicing the most is imagining myself at a beautiful place. This picture looks quite similar to the beach I often visual myself, detailing everything from the color and texture of the sand, color and temperature of the water, and colors in the sunset. How peaceful. . . how relaxing. . . how safe.
What practices have your tried to manage your trauma symptoms? How effective have they been? What practices from the list will you try? Choose at least one and be diligent in practicing it on a daily basis. Give it time to work in managing your trauma symptoms.
To receive your copy of Hope Beyond Homicide: Remembrance Devotionals, click on the menu tab above called “Christian Books.”