ASK LISA – DEALING WITH GRIEF

My children recently lost their beloved dog and unfortunately had to witness him getting hit by a car. Do you have any resources to help me walk them through this loss?

My children recently lost their beloved dog and unfortunately had to witness him getting hit by a car. Do you have any resources to help me walk them through this loss?

First, I am so sorry that your entire family is walking through this. Pets are part of the family, too, and it can be a very traumatic event. Death is a truth-based pain and is not something we can or should attempt to speed up or ‘fix.’ Grief reflects value, and how they process the loss of their family dog will help build them up for success with future seasons of grief and loss. What we do not want to do is minimize it, brush over it, or help them indirectly ignore and stuff their emotions. Grieve comes as it chooses, and when it comes, I encourage you to give them room to let it flow. A good cry is powerful and can be encouraged by allowing them to sit on your lap or cuddle on the couch. Let them know they have permission to get it all out.

PERMISSION – While it would be easy to avoid the subject, not wanting to upset their hearts further, the truth is when adults talk about the pain, it gives children permission to talk about their pain.

ACTION – A great way to help children process grief is to put a verb in it. Perhaps you could have them draw a picture of how their heart feels, buy a tree in memory of the loved one, or a special stuffed animal, etc. When Ellie’s fish died, we went to buy something as a reminder of her beloved fish. She picked out a nice journal and felt like she was supposed to start writing down the things in her heart. Her journal is dear to her and allows her to connect with the value she holds for her fish.

PEACE – Connect them to Jesus’ heart. Have them ask Jesus how He feels about losing their dog. Jesus cares about what is important to them; this is a great opportunity to invite Him into their hurt and sadness. Jesus always brings peace because peace is His presence.

VALIDATE – One boy can lose his dad and become a healthy adult. Another boy can lose his beloved dog and grow up with issues. What is the difference? The boy who loses his dad at an early age is allowed to feel the pain and is validated in the community. The boy who lost his dog is expected to get over it and go to school the next day. Validation is key to helping children process their hearts. Statements like, “I am so sorry your heart has to say goodbye,” “I can imagine how hard this is for you,” or “It makes my heart sad that your heart is sad.”

JOY – Joy is more than an emotion. It releases a chemical in our brains that gives us the will to endure hard things. While you may not be able to stop the grief and sadness, you can usher in pockets of joy to help restore their brain chemicals. Pockets of joy are little things like jumping on the bed, going out for a treat, dancing in the rain, going on an adventure, or staying up later.

Grief and loss are a natural part of living in a fallen world, but we can help our children process their pain with the tools of heaven.

ASK LISA - SURRENDER
You get to worry about that if your journey is yours to figure out. This is the life of a spiritual orphan. If you have the Holy Spirit to guide you and...
ASK LISA - OVERWHELMED GRANDMOTHER
She isn’t a controlling parent. She is a parent who was once a little girl with a very overwhelmed mom who learned she had to hit the mark of perfection...
ASK LISA - STRUGGLING TO REST
I encourage you to grab your journal and linger with the Lord as you ask Him: “Jesus, what about rest makes my heart so uncomfortable?” “What...
ASK LISA - LOVE LANGUAGES
While the heartbeat of every family will be different, I realize this is a dilemma most parents of multiple children face. An ounce of connection is worth...
ASK LISA - USING OUR AUTHORITY
This is a good question. Jesus has given us authority over the enemy because of the work of the Cross. When we encounter the wrong kingdom, we can walk...
ASK LISA - TRUSTING IN HIM
This comment was so powerful. Sometimes we want to rush the caterpillar process when God wants us to trust Him. We want to race to the destination when...
ASK LISA - DEALING WITH GRIEF
First, I am so sorry that your entire family is walking through this. Pets are part of the family, too, and it can be a very traumatic event. Death is...
ASK LISA - SPANKING
This is a hot topic for many. If you want to learn what the Word says about spanking, ask Holy Spirit to show you. It is His job to lead you into all truth...
ASK LISA - AUTHORITY OVER BAD DREAMS
First, I really commend you for paying attention to this. His experience with Jesus doesn’t line up with what you are teaching him. Clearly, we know...
ASK LISA - WHO CAN RELATE?
In this, I hear shame, failure, behavior modification, and a focus on her daughter over her own heart. My response to her: This is what I burn for –...
ASK LISA - AUTHORITY OVER BAD DREAMS
First, I really commend you for paying attention to this. His experience with Jesus doesn’t line up with what you are teaching him. Clearly, we know...
ASK LISA - GOD'S TRUTH
First, I want to validate how challenging, isolating, and defeating it must be to feel like the God of the universe is mad at you. I am so sorry you have...
ASK LISA - SURRENDER
You get to worry about that if your journey is yours to figure out. This is the life of a spiritual orphan. If you have the Holy Spirit to guide you and...
ASK LISA - SPANKING
This is a hot topic for many. If you want to learn what the Word says about spanking, ask Holy Spirit to show you. It is His job to lead you into all truth...
ASK LISA - MENU OF CONSEQUENCES
This stuff seriously is where I come alive. Why? Because this is where our children get to grow into who they are called to be. What they are going through,...
ASK LISA - OVERWHELMED GRANDMOTHER
She isn’t a controlling parent. She is a parent who was once a little girl with a very overwhelmed mom who learned she had to hit the mark of perfection...
ASK LISA - USING OUR AUTHORITY
This is a good question. Jesus has given us authority over the enemy because of the work of the Cross. When we encounter the wrong kingdom, we can walk...
ASK LISA - CONTROLLING VS. STRICT PARENTING
While firm parenting and control look/feel the same on the outside, the difference is the heart behind it. Control is: I NEED for you to do this so that...
ASK LISA - TRUSTING IN HIM
This comment was so powerful. Sometimes we want to rush the caterpillar process when God wants us to trust Him. We want to race to the destination when...
ASK LISA - FORGIVENESS FIRST
Good question. The truth sets you free – not sugar-coating reality. It is okay to view what was done to you through the lens of God’s standard....
1 2 3