MINISTERING DURING GRIEF- CONTINUED DISCUSSION

Dr. Richard L. Mabry Ccontinues his discussion of ministering to those that are grieving. Mabry’s book, Tender Scar, The: Life After the Death of a Spousecame out of his own grief experience, the loss of a wife.

Feed the hunger

Initially, there’s an abundance of food in the home
where death has struck. Casseroles abound, and
desserts fill kitchen tables and counters. After a
week or so, the food that remains is consigned to the
freezer. The family has dispersed, friends don’t drop
by, and the widow or widower sits alone. Grief robs
them of any semblance of appetite. It’s just too much
trouble to even reheat something.

How can you help? Bring food, of course, but don’t
stop there. Wait a bit until things settle down, and
then invite the grieving person to your home for a
meal. Include several of their friends. Find out
their favorite dishes and prepare them. Don’t make it
a contest among you to see who can make the guest of
honor eat. Instead, simply make it easy for them to
engage in the social interaction and watch for the
results.

Give a gentle touch

Hugs are the best medicine, and help fill the void
left by the absence of a loved one’s touch. The
Message translation of the Bible renders Romans 16:16
as “Holy embraces all around!” What a wonderful
characterization of the family of faith. Enfold your
friend in your arms, and show them you’re holding them
in your heart.

We invite our readers to Talk Back by posting their comments and questions.

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MINISTERING DURING GRIEF

We’re honored to have Dr. Richard L. Mabry as a guest blogger this week. Dr. Mabry’s book, Tender Scar, The: Life After the Death of a Spousecame out of his own grief experience, the loss of a wife. Below he shares some insights regarding helping people through the grief process.

Since the publication of my book, The Tender Scar:
Life After The Death Of A Spouse, I’m often asked how
we can minister during a time of grief: to family, to
friends, to church members. I wish I had all the
answers, but here are a few thoughts that might help.

Penetrate the wall of isolation

In the throes of my own grief, I hungered for
conversation and human contact, so much so that I
welcomed phone calls from telephone solicitors. I
checked my email a dozen times a day, hoping for
something from friends but willing to settle for spam.

Give your grieving friend a call a couple of times a
week. What can you say? Just ask, “How are you
feeling?” If that doesn’t lead to a conversation, try
“Do you want to talk about it?” The substance of the
conversation will be forgotten soon, but the effort
won’t. The most important thing is to care, and to
show it.

Send an email, if the bereaved one is as tied to a
computer as most folks are nowadays. Let them know
you’re thinking of them. Point them to an
inspirational web site you like. Send them something
that made you laugh. The content of the message is
important, but more important still is the fact that
you cared enough to reach out to them.


Be sure to visit again as Dr. Mabry continues his talk on Ministering During Grief

As always, your comments are welcome