29 April 2013 James Hoh CM –
Grace to Grieving Persons (GGP Outreach) provides counseling service to those who have lost their loved ones and helps them to come to terms with their loss, cope with the present situation and live with a hope for the future. This counseling service is available to all race and religion, free of charge.
Dr Edmund Ng who is the Resident Director at its centre in Bangsar, is a certified Grief Therapist. He said, “People who have lost their loved ones need to learn how to grief in a proper way.
“Sad to say in our Chinese culture, the people are quite hostile to the process of grieving because they are ignorant. People always say this, ‘You should be ok by now,’ ‘Why are you crying so long?’, ‘Are you ok?’ They think it is a taboo if you grieve so they tend to stay away from you.
“So because of pressure stemming from ignorance and lack of skills, many don’t grieve properly,” Dr Ng said.
“If we do this and try to ‘bury them’, suppressing them we will end up carrying a lot of baggage (emotional wounds). The danger is that it would lead to depression and illnesses at the later part of our lives. For example, if we harbor any unforgiveness and bitterness, after many years, it would result in cancer or stomach ulcers and mental illnesses which include very often suicidal thoughts.
“If we want to be healthy, we actually need to spend time grieving,” he added.
Asked how we help with people who have lost their loved ones, he said that the Bible makes it very clear that:
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4, NIV)
He said, “The grieving process will take many sessions but eventually this would allow the person to come to term with his / her lost. And he would be able to move on in life. Our goal is that he walks out free!”
He said there are a number of aspects:
“We help people to talk about their issues and what they experience. In this way they will ventilate their anger so that we could comfort them. We can also explore issues and help them to process them, because some feel guilty as they blame themselves.
So as counselors we not only have to deal with their anger but also guilt and condemnation. Sometimes they vent their anger on God or the police or even the hospital,” Dr Ng said.
Christians feel cheated and can be angry with God because the Bible tells us that God promises healing. Yet in many cases, healing didn’t happen. So the counselor needs to make them realize that they are living in a fallen world of sin. And it is God’s prerogative whom he heals and whom he doesn’t since He is our sovereign God," Dr Edmund Ng, wrote the book 'The Time Appraoch to Grief Support', said.
“We need to make them realize that if God heals everyone, then we don’t need to have faith and healing would automatically take place. Then there would not be any suffering in this world. But this cannot be true because we are living in a rotten world and our lives are constantly deterioration from one generation to another since the fall of Adam and Eve.
“Although people initially may come in with grief but eventually he may have to deal with many other issues that come along with it, for example, issues like depression, suicidal tendency and family problems,” he said.
Dr Ng described the session may not be one-to-one but in a seminar form which usually consist of six sessions or more. “So we have people to join us as a group. And we also have facilitators to help, they are called Diakonia Support group,” he added.
Like this round which has just started with two sessions, the participants comprise a handful from three diverse religions. But they are open to Christian values. The seminar is entitled ‘Let GOD’ is a partnership between GGP Outreach and SIBKL.
It is at Level 3, Bangunan Yin, Phileo Damansara 1, Kuala Lumpur from 7 April to 30 June, 2013. For more information, kindly contact Jane 03-79572701.
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