How long, in your experience, does it take to get over the death of a loved one? My wife died six months ago, and I can't even attend our church because I get so emotional. Will I ever get over her death? — K.S.
The memory of your wife will always be with you—but yes, in time your pain over her death will fade. It won't happen all at once, but little by little comfort will come—with God's help.
Few experiences in life are as painful as the loss of a loved one—especially a spouse who has been by our side for most of our life. Grief is real, and you shouldn't feel guilty because you grieve; after all, Jesus wept at the tomb of His friend Lazarus (see John 11:1-44). But when we know Christ, we know there is life beyond the grave, and some day we will be reunited with those who have entered heaven before us. Don't lose sight of the hope we have in Christ.
What can you do? First, don't bear your burden alone. You probably know others who are going through the same experience; why not help and encourage each other? Many churches today also have special groups for those who are grieving, and if your church doesn't have one, perhaps you can help start one. The Bible says, "Carry each other's burdens" (Galatians 6:2).
In addition, ask God to use you to help others in need—through your church, through volunteering in your community, or in some other way. Not only will you be an encouragement to them, but it will help you turn from your own problems and concentrate on the needs of others.