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Is Grief a Good Thing?

By Mormon.org
Woman crying in kitchen

Feeling Grief

Grief is felt emotionally and even physically. The greater the loss, the greater the grief. It can be overwhelming and can cause hopelessness, anger, loss of interest, great sadness, and physical pain.

Human instinct is to avoid or run away from that pain, but it is important to allow ourselves to feel grief. If we ignore grief, it will come back later in greater force. It is part of the healing process and must be felt. It is also important to be patient with ourselves as we grieve; like with a physical wound, we must allow time for healing, even if it takes longer than we’d like.

Example of Jesus Christ

John 11 tells the story of Jesus Christ bringing Lazarus back from the dead. A moving moment from this story is when Mary falls to Jesus’s feet, weeping over the loss of her brother. Verse 35 of that chapter is a very short verse, but also deeply moving: “Jesus wept.”

Jesus knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. But seeing Mary, Martha, and the Jews weeping for Lazarus, and the fact that Jesus also loved Lazarus, caused Him to weep. He grieved with them before performing His miracle.

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If grief is important enough for the Savior to feel, it is also important that we allow ourselves to feel grief during difficult times.

Grief can also draw us closer to the Savior, who, through His Atonement, is the only being who can completely understand what we are feeling and heal us (see Isaiah 53:3–5).

Faith through Grief

Grief can be severe enough at times to make us question if we are losing faith—or to actually make us lose faith. The cause of our grief may make us upset with God or want to turn away from Him because we feel He has abandoned us. God grieves when we grieve, but He is patient and will never force us to come to Him for comfort. His Son Jesus Christ’s Atonement is the only way for us to find true healing and peace, and the only way to access that Atonement is through prayer. Jesus Christ is the only being who has been through our exact pain and therefore is the only being who knows exactly how to comfort us. If we turn to Him, the dark night of grief can be replaced with His light.