Thursday, August 1, 2013

August 2013 What to say to a grieving person

Pastors page August What to say to a grieving person. Sometimes it can be hard to know what to say to a grieving friend after the loss of a loved one. Sometimes the fear of not knowing what to say keeps us silent. Here are some excerpts from two articles from Paula Spencer Scott, Senior Editor: “10 Things Never to Say to a Grieving Person” and “10 Helpful Things to Say to a Grieving Person” 10 Things Never to Say to a Grieving Person 1. "Stop crying; you're only making it worse." Expressing emotions, even strongly, is a natural, normal, and healthy reaction to death. 2. "You should let your emotions out or you'll feel worse later." It's also normal for some people to not cry." 3. "At least he's not suffering any more." Whatever the circumstances of the death, the bereaved person is still suffering. 4."You must be strong." (Or "God never gives us more than we can handle.") Such statements imply that it's wrong to feel bereft, which is a perfectly natural response. 5."God must have wanted her." God does want us all. God does not want the separation of death. It, and the pain it brings, is a consequence of sin. 6."Don't dwell on it." It's normal and natural to talk about the person who died. 7. "I know exactly how you feel." Even if you've experienced a similar loss, you didn't have the same relationship to the person who died. 8. "At least he was old enough to live a full life." How old would old "enough" be? 9. "You're lucky. At least [you have money, you're young and attractive, he didn't commit suicide, etc.]." Loss is always horrible. 10."It's been [six months, one year, etc.]; it's time to move on." People never stop grieving for a lost loved one. Affixing a deadline to mourning is insensitive. 10 Helpful Things to Say to a Grieving Person 1. "I'm so sorry for your loss." It's short, sweet, heartfelt, and always welcomed. 2. "Please know that I'm here for you." It never hurts to remind someone in pain of your friendship, no matter how close you are. 3. "You're in my thoughts and prayers." Even people who aren't religious are unlikely to be offended if they know you're sincere. 4. "Remember you can call me at any hour." Be specific: "You know I'm always up till midnight." Or, "It's never too early in the morning to call." 5. "She was such a wonderful person." Don't worry that you'll make the bereaved person think about the loved one by bringing up positive reminisces; you can rest assured he or she is always in mind already. 6. "I don't know what to say." Admitting you're tongue-tied about offering condolences is better than falling back on a platitude. 7. "I can't imagine what you're going through." Candor when you give condolence beats comparing the death with your own stories of loss. 8. "Would you like to talk about it? I'm listening." Provide a gentle opening for the person to share turbulent emotions, if desired. 9. "How are you feeling -- really?" A more pointed invitation to unload may be welcomed by some; just don't press. 10. "I've brought you a meal to eat or freeze; it's in disposable containers so you don't have to return anything." Better than asking, "How can I help?" is to step in with concrete help: bringing a meal, a quart of milk, a carton of eggs picked up when you do your own grocery shopping; or showing up to mow the lawn. What God says to a grieving person. Above all, share the Gospel. We are not sharing our comfort but God’s. For the open ear, Jesus’ Words can bring tremendous comfort and hope - 13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words. [1Th 4:13]

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