Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

09/26/2018

Submitted by Harold Akridge

 

Helping Someone

Who Has Lost a Loved One

 

  We’ve all been there or we’ll all be there soon. It may be that you are there right now. Somebody you know has lost a family member. You want to help, but you are not sure how you can do that. 

 

  In a recent issue of the Gospel Advocate there was an informative article by a sister in the Lord. Michelle Moore wrote about the loss of her son and provided what I thought was some very practical advice. 

 

  She wrote of things that many of us have thought of. For example, she suggested that ministering to those who are grieving “…will most likely be a thankless job for a while…”  This, she suggests, is because those who are grieving cannot process things as they once did.

 

  She also suggested that those who are grieving need to continue to be invited to events. She further suggested that those who do the inviting need to understand if they decline. 

 

  Sister Moore also reminded us of something that we probably already know. There is no definite schedule to grieving. Grief is a process, not an event. It may take much longer for some than it does for others. We each grieve differently, so we must not press our expectations upon others.

 

  What I found to be helpful were some very practical suggestions. What follows, then, are the words of sister Moore without any “editorial comment” from me. I have shortened most of them for the sake of space and the comments in parentheses are mine. You may find yourself adding some of your own.

 

  While some of sister Moore’s ideas seem to have been written from the perspective of a woman, not all of them are. I hope you find them as practical and helpful as I did.

 

1. Pray for them every single day.

 

2. Send a card – or even more than one… Include a story about the loved one.

 

3. Send a gift card to a restaurant.

 

4. Text them. Include scripture, not just the reference, but write out the scripture. Let them know specifically what you are praying for when you text.

 

5. When you head to the store, call the family asking what they might need.

 

6. Take care of some difficult tasks: Mowing the yard, preparing a meal, or Christmas dinner, putting up or taking down holiday lights, etc.).

 

7. Drop off a care package.

 

8. Offer to help when it is time to go through their loved one’s things. Among other things, this gives the one grieving a chance to share memories.

 

9. Take a friend or two and go help around the house.

 

10. Invite your friend to go out to lunch or grab coffee.

 

11. If your friend has small children, offer to take them for an afternoon to give them time to grieve alone, uninterrupted.

 

12. If the death is that of a child, do not forget the siblings.

 

13. In conversations with someone who is grieving, say the loved one’s name frequently.

 

  Most of all, may we remember to "bear one another's burdens, thus fulfilling the law of Christ."

 

  Our heartfelt thanks to Michelle.

 

Edited from an article by

Adam Vaughn & MIchelle Moore

Submitted by Harold Akridge