Depression a storm of the spirit

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 25, 2012

Grief expresses itself in a number of ways.

So far we have looked at shock and emotionalism as expressions of grief experienced by people. Another expression of grief is depression and loneliness.

Grief brings with it feelings of utter depression and isolation. Some have described this grief as feeling that God is not in heaven and does not care for the individual, thus leaving the person trapped in isolation and deep despair.

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Depression has been called the common cold of psychological problems. That is because grief spans all age groups, causes untold misery, can come without warning, and sometimes may last for months or even years. Relatives and friends do not understand it and exhort the depressed person “to snap out of it!”

Yet we each need to realize that depression and loneliness inevitably come as a result of any significant loss. The resulting depression is normal and is an integral part of healthy grief.

Several years ago, I stood on top of a mountain looking down across a community. As I stood there, a summer thunderstorm swept down the valley upon the little town.

I was privileged to look down the side of the mountain and watch the street lights come on as the thunder rumbled and the lightning flashed amidst the driving rain.

It was quite dark in the town, but where I stood, I was able to look across the tops of the clouds in the glorious light of the warm summer sun. Looking back, I realize that the person struggling with depression and isolation is like that little town beneath the clouds and experiencing the storm with the belief that the sun will never shine again.

All the time, the sun is shining and people not in the storm are enjoying the sunlight and the beauty around them. That does describe depression and isolation.

Depression is something that happens to each of us at some point when we lose someone or something that is very special to us.

In addition, we each experience depression differently from others. What we need to realize is, that like the summer storm, the depression and loneliness will pass over eventually! The person in the storm may feel that the storm will never pass over him.

The depressed person needs a friend who will stand beside and assure him that the storm will eventually pass over and the sun will come out again! For some people, the clouds pass away quickly while for others, it may be weeks, or months, or even years before the sun comes back into their lives.

Such people need the constant, consistent assistance of those around them who really care for them.


Dennis R. Tate is a spiritual and bereavement counselor with Community Hospice, Inc. He can be reached at 740-532-8841.