Sermon Resources: A Psalm for Processing Pain and Loss

Psalm 88:1-9a,18



  • Wholeheartedness: Busyness, Exhaustion, and Healing the Divided Self by Chuck DeGroat
  • Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzer
  • Believe: A Young Widow’s Journey Through Brokenness and Back by Jennifer Silvera
  • A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss by Jerry Sittser
  • Eyes that See: Juson’s Story of Hope in Suffering by Christina Levasheff
  • Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman (wife of Steven Curtis Chapman)


“The best way out is always through. ” —Robert Frost.


5 Stages of Grief

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages are a part of a loose framework of how we deal with grief. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not linear on a timeline. There is no neat progression from one stage to another. The cycle often loops back many times or stages can happen together and out of order.

Denial happens when you feel numb and life makes no sense. You are in a state of shock. There is a grace in denial. It is your body’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle.

Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal.

Bargaining–Before a loss, it seems like you will do anything if only your loved one would be spared. “Please God, ” you bargain, “I will never be angry at my wife again if you’ll just let her live.” After a loss, bargaining may take the form of a temporary truce.

Depression— After bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though it will last forever. It’s important to understand that this depression is not a sign of mental illness. It is the appropriate response to a great loss.

Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK or all right about the loss of a loved one. This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually we accept it. We learn to live with it. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live.


David Kessler’s website.



No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.