Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
Latest Conversations: Jan 9, 2016
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i worry i wil rot in h@@@@@@@@@@@ coz of bad thngs i let happen not on prpses i did not it hapends coz i carz d it not on purps i dt
or iv did bad chose coz of loss lk drinin weed so on
Quoted from: WHEN SOMEONE YOU LOVE DIES pp. 20-22
Part 2: How Can Others Help?
Take appropriate initiative: Are there errands that need to be run? Is someone needed to watch the children? Do visiting friends and relatives need a place to stay? Recently bereaved persons are often so stunned that they do not even know what they need to do, let alone tell others how they may help. So if you discern a genuine need, do not wait to be asked; take the initiative. (1 Corinthians 10:24; compare 1 John 3:17, 18.) One woman whose husband had died recalled: “Many said, ‘If there’s anything I can do, let me know.’ But one friend did not ask. She went right into the bedroom, stripped the bed, and laundered the linens soiled from his death. Another took a bucket, water, and cleaning supplies and scrubbed the rug where my husband had vomited. A few weeks later, one of the congregation elders came over in his work clothes with his tools and said, ‘I know there must be something that needs fixing. What is it?’ How dear that man is to my heart for repairing the door that was hanging on a hinge and for fixing an electrical fixture!”—Compare James 1:27.
Be hospitable: “Do not forget hospitality,” the Bible reminds us. (Hebrews 13:2) Especially should we remember to be hospitable to those who are grieving. Instead of a “come anytime” invitation, set a date and time. If they refuse, do not give up too easily. Some gentle encouragement may be needed. Perhaps they declined your invitation because they are afraid of losing control of their emotions in front of others. Or they may feel guilty about enjoying a meal and fellowship at such a time. Remember the hospitable woman Lydia mentioned in the Bible. After being invited to her home, Luke says, “She just made us come.”—Acts 16:15.
Be patient and understanding: Do not be too surprised by what bereaved ones may say at first. Remember, they may be feeling angry and guilty. If emotional outbursts are directed at you, it will take insight and patience on your part not to respond with irritation. “Clothe yourselves with the tender affections of compassion, kindness, lowliness of mind, mildness, and long-suffering,” recommends the Bible.—Colossians 3:12, 13.
Write a letter: Often overlooked is the value of a letter of condolence or a sympathy card. Its advantage? Answers Cindy, who lost her mother to cancer: “One friend wrote me a nice letter. That really helped because I could read it over and over again.” Such a letter or card of encouragement may be composed “in few words,” but it should give of your heart. (Hebrews 13:22) It can say that you care and that you share a special memory about the deceased, or it can show how your life was touched by the person who died.
Pray with them: Do not underestimate the value of your prayers with and for bereaved ones. The Bible says: “A righteous man’s supplication . . . has much force.” (James 5:16) For example, hearing you pray in their behalf can help them allay such negative feelings as guilt.—Compare James 5:13-15.
Part 1: How Can Others Help?
“IF THERE’S anything I can do, just let me know.” This is what many of us say to the newly bereaved friend or relative. Oh, we sincerely mean it. We would do anything to help. But does the bereaved one call us and say: “I’ve thought of something you can do to help me”? Not usually. Clearly, we may need to take some initiative if we are truly to assist and comfort one who is grieving.
A Bible proverb says: “As apples of gold in silver carvings is a word spoken at the right time for it.” (Proverbs 15:23; 25:11) There is wisdom in knowing what to say and what not to say, what to do and what not to do. Here are a few Scriptural suggestions that some bereaved persons have found helpful.
What to Do . . .
Listen: Be “swift about hearing,” says James 1:19. One of the most helpful things you can do is to share the bereaved one’s pain by listening. Some bereaved persons may need to talk about their loved one who has died, about the accident or illness that caused the death, or about their feelings since the death. So ask: “Would you care to talk about it?” Let them decide. Recalling when his father died, one young man said: “It really helped me when others asked what happened and then really listened.” Listen patiently and sympathetically without necessarily feeling that you have to provide answers or solutions. Allow them to express whatever they want to share.
Provide reassurance: Assure them that they did all that was possible (or whatever else you know to be true and positive). Reassure them that what they are feeling—sadness, anger, guilt, or some other emotion—may not be at all uncommon. Tell them about others you know of who successfully recovered from a similar loss. Such “pleasant sayings” are “a healing to the bones,” says Proverbs 16:24.—1 Thessalonians 5:11, 14.
Be available: Make yourself available, not just for the first few days when many friends and relatives are present, but even months later when others have returned to their normal routine. In this way you prove yourself to be “a true companion,” the kind who stands by a friend in a time of “distress.” (Proverbs 17:17) “Our friends made sure that our evenings were taken up so that we didn’t have to spend too much time at home alone,” explains Teresea, whose child died in a car accident. “That helped us cope with the empty feeling we had.” For years afterward, anniversary dates, such as the wedding anniversary or the date of the death, can be a stressful time for the survivors. Why not mark such dates on your calendar so that when they come around, you can make yourself available, if necessary, for sympathetic support?
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