COPING WITH GRIEF, TRAUMA, & LOSS
Updated: Jun 3
Plus a playlist that will help you through the journey.
It was 3pm on Sat Aug 3rd 2019. I was the host of the 60th birthday celebration of two of my mentors (they are a couple) when a guest at the event pointed his phone at me to show me what had just happened to people at a Walmart store in El Paso, TX. 22 dead, 24 injured. I was broken to read about killings again but I had to shove it off as I had guests to engage, and a party flow to maintain.
When I tried to catch up on my news the next day, I saw a news on mass shooting, but not at a Walmart. I was confused for a minute before learning that in less than 18hrs of the El Paso massacre, there had been a second shooting that killed more people in Dayton, OH (Sun Aug 4, 2019).
We all loose people at different times and in different circumstances, but mass shootings are horrific because of the trail of terror they leave in the community. The spectacle they create makes it difficult for many people to forget, and some could never get carry on with life as normal. Some folks might never go to a Walmart after El Paso. The trauma for the community and the grief for the bereaved led me to play these set of encouraging songs on my radio show the Tuesday following (Tue Aug 6, 2019).
My top 5 songs for coping with grief
Top on my list is You’re Gonna be Okay” by Jenn Johnson of Bethel Music. Those who were close to me around the time my dad went to be with the Lord know that this was my anchor song all through the season and I have share it with everyone I know in that situation. Today, feel comforted.
2. This is one of the popular songs for wakes, vigils and service of songs. This rendition by Kristene DiMarco is one of the fullest versions out there and I hope that the voice and passion of this band will soothe your hurting and/or troubled soul. This is not to deny your hurt, but it is about you speaking to your heart and soul, that it is well. They are listening to you.
3. There are many versions of this song out there, but Tamela Mann’s piercing soprano seems to take you right to the presence of God himself. This song helps you imagine what it will be like when we all meet again after life. It gives the hope that this separation from our loved one might only be temporary. It also shifts your focus to Jesus. Try imagining something else, follow the song.
4. If there is one thing that keeps us up at night in moments of loss and grief, it is the search for answers. There are usually more questions than answers and some of us do not even know what to believe in anymore. Losing a loved one could rock your world, and sadly I do not have answers for you here today, but I hope this song gives you something
5. Oh yes, this song made the list. How couldn’t it?Kirk Franklin and God’s Property did something artistically beautiful with this song “My Life is in Your Hands”. It’s a song of surrender to God. acknowledging that you do not have all the answers (maybe none at all), and you probably have more fear than faith, but you’ll just take one more “stupid” move of faith and trust him with your life. You have nothing to lose, really. Surrender could be sweet