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How to Grieve and Attain Faith-Based Self-Love

Janis is a licensed professional counselor in Washington, DC. Areas of specialty include grief, loss, life transition, and trauma recovery.

A Man Searches to Complete a Puzzle in His Life

A man searches to place a puzzle piece where it will create a complete picture for him.

A man searches to place a puzzle piece where it will create a complete picture for him.

An Incomplete Woman

The haunting image of a woman's face is depicted by a puzzle with a missing piece, symbolic of the incompleteness she feels in her life.

The haunting image of a woman's face is depicted by a puzzle with a missing piece, symbolic of the incompleteness she feels in her life.

A Poem About Grief


"Living with Incompleteness"


How do I miss thee

Having never had that which is

The void I've come to know


Staring at the empty room

Meant for you

Making a house our home


Inside my incompleteness

I wait . . . . . . . . . .

Anticipating God's love


Where are you?

A full image in my head

Yet unseen in the flesh


Felt as a beat in my heart

Close as a touch to my skin

Connected in spirit dreams


Only as real as a thought

Fleeting in nonexistent reality

I remain incomplete as one


I learn to live unfinished

Only as myself

Without reciprocation


My crying soul

Goes on, moves on to live

Purposefully incomplete


(JLE 2014)

Embracing a Life of Loss With Purpose

In order to move forward, we mourn what was lost, while the pain of what never was, is grieved. Broken pieces of our lives become puzzles for which we ask the questions, "why" and "how," as we struggle to accept our current realities.

For example, many never get the chance to experience the joy of a fulfilling relationship or the miracle that is expressed through the birth of a child. Others were blessed with the full circle of God's love only to lose it too soon.

Each of these scenarios presents a puzzling void which often houses a very spacious emptiness. It reverberates into the crevices of the soul, whispering the words, "Your life is not yet complete."

It is said that a house is not a home with no one to share in it. As human beings, we find this to be true when our expectations, hopes, and dreams don't work out the way we planned or would have liked.

We eventually find a way to adjust and learn to live with a memory of what was or an image of what could have been, as we attempt to live life purposefully, albeit incomplete.

We make choices to fill voids through engaging in other activities, exploring new endeavors, resetting our goals, and embarking upon self-renewal. Sometimes that requires a spiritual overhaul as we find new fulfillment and purpose.

Wholeness Begins to Form as Puzzle Pieces Come Together

We can find wholeness once we piece together the unsolved puzzles in our lives.

We can find wholeness once we piece together the unsolved puzzles in our lives.

Finding Spiritual Wholeness

In order to cope with feelings of unresolved grief, loss, or incompleteness, one must look deep within for solace, beyond the void. Finding wholeness may seem elusive through the eyes of emptiness. But if you patiently look beyond the void in faith, you will find love - a pure and infinite love which can be expressed through the gift of giving and receiving. Consider the following as you attempt to reach wholeness:

  • Keep in contact with family and good friends.
  • Maintain social interaction through regular activity.
  • Renew your faith and spiritual connection through meditation and prayer.
  • Practice mindfulness by fully participating in the moment and savoring each experience.
  • Be grateful and count every encounter as a blessing.
  • Love yourself through regular pampering and self-care.
  • Grow from your losses and let go of what no longer is or never will be.
  • Engage in the practice of reciprocating unconditional, agape love with human beings, animals, plants, and all forms of life.

Incompleteness in My Life

Self-Love Completes the Puzzle of Life

God's abiding love within us, shared with each other, is the key to feeling complete and whole.

God's abiding love within us, shared with each other, is the key to feeling complete and whole.

© 2014 Janis Leslie Evans

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