Today my heart is with Houston as from a distance I try to wrap my head around the devastation and loss that is affecting so many couples and families.

This morning I came across an amazing quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

“All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

We all need each other and need to support one another in our life journey. It is disasters like this that bring us face to face with just how critical togetherness is.

I was recently asked to offer couples and families some insight into how to make it through these difficult times. Whether you are in the middle of a crisis or loss right now or facing a recovery in the aftermath, I hope these few encouragements are helpful:

4 Critical Considerations for couples and families when confronted with a crisis or loss:

  1. Develop a foxhole mentality:

During a crisis, when emotions get high, and stress elevates it can be tempting to take it out on those closest to you. Instead, try to face the problem like you are soldiers on a battlefield fighting against a common enemy. Looking at the crisis before as something to conquer together will shift your focus. In turn, you will work with not against one another, and it will bring you closer.

  1. Make room for feelings:

Loss brings grief and grief holds a variety of feelings. There will be moments of shock, denial, anger, sadness, depression and resolve. You, your partner and family members will not feel the same way at the same time. Decide to be open to each other’s emotional process and support the feelings as they arise knowing it is important to get them out in order to heal. Listening to each other is an incredible gift during this time.

  1. Accept that change is uncomfortable:

Crisis and loss bring permanent change and force us into a new version of life we weren’t planning on living. There will be an uncomfortable transition as you move from what was to what will be. Support each other by reminding each other that it is normal to feel off and not quite yourself right now. Be patient as the only path to your new beginning is time. Share your discomfort—it can be easier to make it through when you know you’re not alone in the process.

  1. Get as much support as you can:

You have each other to lean on, which is good, but you are worn down right now. You will need other people and resources to hold you up for a while. Ask for what you need and accept any help that is offered. Talking to a counselor, pastor or even a friend that isn’t in crisis can lift some of your emotional burdens.

I hope these suggestions are helpful. If you are not facing crisis or loss and are capable of helping those in need, please do so by donating, serving, and reaching out in any way you can.

As we all do our part to uphold those that need our care, may we feel the beautiful bond that supporting one another creates.

Until we meet again—Love each other well,

Jen Elmquist