Because the Survive stage is defined as being in the closest time frame to our loss event, we are most prone to emotional outbursts at this time, including unexpected bouts of weeping, irritability, or even moments of anger or frustration. This is understandable in view of the powerful nature of dealing with loss, and is oftentimes uncharacteristic to our typical behavior and emotional state of mind. I’ve talked to many people in the first few weeks after loss who were confused about how they were acting. For example, it’s not uncommon for otherwise “tough” men and women to become so overwhelmed with emotion that they can’t stop crying. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say something such as, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I feeling this way? I’ve never been like this before. Why do I keep crying out of nowhere?”
Of course, it’s not “out of nowhere.” Rather, we’re reacting out of our grief. Tremendous loss brings a tremendous emotional response, and that response very often includes unexpected fits of tears—even for tough guys and gals. In these circumstances music can be enormously powerful and transformative. When we’re hurting deep inside, it’s a great blessing that music can play a critical role in finding emotional comfort. Along the way, there have been many times that I have desperately needed to be reminded I was safe in God’s arms regardless of the sorrow I was experiencing. In these times, I frequently leaned on contemporary Christian music to cover me in the soft blanket of the Lord’s love and experience a peace that transcended my understanding.
One such example is the song If You Want Me To by Ginny Owens. Her heavenly voice cut through my pain and the focus of her message related to walking a broken path while dealing with uncertainty touched and comforted me. I connect directly with the lyrics “I’m going to walk through the valley if You want me to.”, and am grateful for that message when I needed comfort and to be reminded of God’s love despite the tough emotions with which I was struggling.
Please comment and let us know what you think of this selection. You are also invited to share what songs you have found to be comforting in your most emotional times in order to encourage and connect with others in the Survive-Alive-Thrive community.