5 Reasons Why You Need to Prepare For Grief

One of the most helpless feelings you will ever experience occurs when someone you love is crushed beneath the weight of grief.  If you have not suffered with a family or a friend in this setting, hang on. You will.  How you personally prepare for grief can make the difference in your ability to minister.

Eventually, death comes to every household.  Being present during an expression of fresh and quivering grief is heart rending.  Few can be in that setting and remain unmoved.  If you are a pastor, teacher, or good friend, the moment may find you ministering to a grief stricken family AND grieving personally.

I walked through the final days with Leroy.  He was one of the Deacons with whom I served and we had become great friends.  Hospice care had been arranged and I had made it a point to stop by his home and visit for a few minutes each day.  In the late evening hours I was called to the house for what would be the final visit.  When the moment of his passing came, I stood ready to minister to a room full of grieving family but was completely unprepared for the tidal wave of my own grief.  Since then, I have shared moments of grief with many others but the lessons I learned in Leroy’s den stick with me to this day.

1.  Grief is unavoidable.
  • It is beneficial to grieve loss.
  • Grief is a gut level response.  No words are powerful enough to short circuit this life altering moment.
  • That death even exists is the result of sin; a tragedy of the highest order.
2.  Grieving acknowledges our separation.
  • Separation removes a physical presence from our day.  The touch of a husband or wife, the smile of a child, the advice of a friend are all irreplaceable.
  • Separation from someone who loves us is life-altering.
  • Separation heightens the anticipation of a heavenly reunion.
3.  Grieving reflects upon our connection.
  • We finally attribute full and honest value to the relationship.
  • We reflect upon the personal impact that was made by the deceased.
  • In some cases, your grief may be focused more for the loved ones left behind than for the deceased.  In that case, you tend to grieve because of the pain you see in them.
4.  Grieving reminds us of our own preparation.
  • In grieving the loss of a friend or loved one we flinch at the sting of death.
  • Few times in life will men and women reflect more upon their own life and death than in a time of grief.
  • Life is short.  The survival rate of any given generation is zero.  Prepare urgently!  Love lavishly!
5.  Grief is addressed best by love.
  • Your loving presence will say far more than your words.  Close your mouth.  Just share their air.
  • Prayerfully, ask for the comfort of the Holy Spirit.  Intercession is one of the highest expressions of love.
  • Walk the path of grief with them.  Directions are cheap.  A shared journey is priceless.
Do you have experience with grief that might benefit someone else?   Please share it.  We will grow together!

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