Life in a broken world means facing loss.

Grief is our reaction to a significant loss. Grief brings sensations, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors tied to our loss. Everyone grieves in their own way—through tears, through laughter, through quiet reflection.

We may grieve for many reasons: the end of a relationship with a close friend, the death of a pet, the end of a dream, or moving to a distant location or culture. Whatever our reasons for a sense of loss, it is important that we take the time to process how we feel.

There are healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with grief. Some people attempt to cope with grief by using alcohol or drugs, lashing out, engaging in promiscuous sex, over-sleeping, or withdrawing from social interaction. Such actions can only magnify one’s pain. But there are helpful ways to grieve. Talking with a trusted friend or family member, keeping a journal or a notebook to write about one’s feelings, expressing emotions via painting and other creative arts, are all excellent ways to process grief.

As you work through grief, remember the following:

God does not wish us to become mired in our grief, numb to our feelings, unable to truly experience joy and peace again. The Bible says that there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Eccles. 3:4). Jesus lived this truth, taking the time to weep for His friend Lazarus (John 11:35), even as He anticipated resurrecting him. Revelation 21:4 promises that in the world to come, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things [will] have passed away.”