Five Grief-Busting Tips in the Wake of Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane

Over the weekend Malaysia Airlines plane 370 disappeared with 239 passengers and crew members on board. While the international community searches for the missing plane in the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam, friends and family members of 14 different nationalities are desperately seeking news about love ones aboard the plane.

This grief guide compiled from authors who have written about suffering is for anyone struggling with adverse situations.

1. Stop asking why me. – While it is common to ask why during trying periods, Jim Davis author of Why Me and Why That’s the Wrong Question (Leafwood) encourages the hurting to steer their thoughts to more constructive questions. Davis believes questions such as how can this draw me closer to God and how can I glorify God in my suffering will help the grieving better experience God’s compassion and transformation.

2. Recognize that there are several stages of grief Finding God in Tough Times (ZonderKidz) Author Kristi Holl advice young women in crisis to familiarize themselves with the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, sadness and acceptance. Holl warns that everyone does not goes through the stages the same way, but writes that understanding the stages helps the grieving understand their feelings and seek guidance when necessary.

3. Embrace the mystery, offer love and compassion – Joseph Primo, president of The National Alliance for Grieving Children and author of What Do We Tell the Children?(Abington Press) advises parents not to try and answer the “why” or “how” of a loved one’s death. Rather Primo said to assure grieving children that God is with them in their time of sorrow.

4. Give thanks for the good times - Texas minister Max Lucado says gratitude helps us through the hard times. Lucado writes in his book You’ll Get Through This, “To reflect on your blessings is to rehearse God’s accomplishments. To rehearse God’s accomplishments is discover His heart. To discover His heart is to discover not just good gifts but the Good Giver.”

5. Believe that you will get through this – The healing process will not be painless or quick says Lucado. The inspirational author writes in You’ll Get Through This, that God does not promise the absence of struggle in this life. Nor does He promise quick deliverance from problems. But Lucado writes “He does pledge to reweave your pain for a higher purpose.”