One way to process your own grief is through writing of a lament. Here is one way to engage in that process.
Writing your own lament
By James Covey (adapted from Healing Teen’s Wounds of Trauma)
One positive way to deal with the hard things that go on in our lives is to create a “lament.” A lament is a way of expressing our pain to God when we feel bad. It might be done in words, in music, in dance or any other form of creative expression.
A lament helps us expose all the stuff that we have tried to hide and share it with God. This is a good way to start telling your story and releasing painful memories. As it becomes more comfortable for you to share it privately with God, creating a lament can lead to sharing your story with another person when you are ready.
There are many examples of laments in the Bible. Trauma after trauma happened to the nation of Israel as a community (wars, captivity, displacement, famines) as well as to individuals (abuse, rape, abandonment, murder). Many of them found comfort in bringing their pain to God. They had an honest way of speaking to God where they poured out their complaints to him, sometimes even as they declared their trust in him. There are over 40 laments in the book of psalms (making it the most common type of psalm). Laments have the elements below in them but they must have a complaint to be a lament. It is helpful to also have a review of God’s faithfulness and a vow of trust in God.
Parts of a Lament
- Address to God.
- Review of God’s faithfulness in the past.
- Complaint. (must have this)
- Confession of sin / Claim of innocence.
- Request for help
- God’s response.
- Vow to praise / statement of trust in God.Examples Psalms 142, Habakkuk 3:17-18, Psalms 130, Psalms 13Here is Psalm 13 and the parts of a lament in it. This might help you in creating your own.1. How much longer will you forget me, Lord? Forever? How much longer will you hide yourself from me? 2. How long must I endure trouble? How long will sorrow fill my heart day and night? How long will my enemies triumph over me? 3. Look at me, O Lord my God, and answer me. Restore my strength; don’t let me die. 4. Don’t let my enemies say, “We have defeated him.” Don’t let them gloat over my downfall. 5. I rely on your constant love; I will be glad, because you will rescue me. 6. I will sing to you, O Lord, because you have been good to me.Vs 1-2 Address to God and Complaint Vs 3-4 Request
Vs 5a Statement of Trust
Vs 5b-6- Vow to Praise