Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Simple Thoughts about a Complex Topic

Recently, you may have read me talking about my last Master’s Class. Well, it was a counseling class and one of my final projects was that I had to develop a “hypothetical seminar” that I would lead in a local church setting. I did it on Grief recovery. I have been meaning to post a bit of my work here on my blog. This may minister to you or you may want to pass a pearl along to someone that is dealing with grief (if you find a pearl).

  • MOST people know very little about how to deal with death and loss in their own lives or the lives of the people around them. It is incredibly healthy for you to equip yourself with a basic knowledge of grief recovery before death strikes. If one does not have that chance, it becomes crucial that they do so after death strikes. There is no reason to go through such deep pain without the comfort and power of basic understanding.
  • When people experience death they are plunged into a place that is often painful and difficult. Even though it is not a place they ever wanted to go, people enter a journey of pain, adjustment and hopefully healing.
  • A journey through grief is often a long, difficult and unpredictable journey. Knowing that from the outset saves you the pain of wondering what is wrong with you!
  • The grief journey is as unique as the people that go through it. It requires patience, understanding, time, support and effort on your part.
  • Forget what you heard! Time is not as easy a healer as we make it out to be!
  • Don’t worry about letting people down. How you grieve is not up to anybody else. They do not know what you are experiencing. They are not going through what you are.
  • Make a commitment to accept that your journey through grief is unique to you. It will not necessarily be the way that you thought it would be. It will likely not be like anyone else’s either. If you believe that, you will save yourself the hurt and negativity that accompanies comparing yourself to others.
  • The nature and duration of the death and the level of relationship that the grieving person had with deceased make a huge impact on the intensity of the grief journey.
  • Make a commitment not to place additional pressure on yourself to do ANYTHING too early. Do what you feel ready to do when you feel ready to do it.
  • Embrace the power of empathy! This applies to your personal grief journey and the journey of those around you. It is essential that you are receiving the ever-so-important gift of empathy from the people around you. It is equally important that you are extending it to those who are grieving. Empathy is what people want and need more than anything else in their journey through grief. The problem is that they don’t often know that!
  • Don’t be searching for fast fixes. Take it one day at a time. If there was an overnight solution, you would have heard about it by now!
  • Keep the memories alive! It is ok, really!
  • What is the most important thing you need to do? Something! Do something. Understand that there are many resources available to you! Here is a great starting list:

o Scripture, Prayer & Presence and comfort of the Holy Spirit

o The healing power of Christ

o Your Family

o Your Friends

o Your Church

o Your Co-workers

o Support groups in the community or the church. One of the most popular church support groups is Grief Share at

o Great Books!

o Christian Counseling

o Medication


carol said...

Are there any plans to start a griefshare goup at our church? We have had an enormous amount of loss this past year. What are we as a church doing to help these wounded through their crisis?

Noah said...

Carol, I am very open to the idea? Do I hear the passion of a leader coming through? Ha! Let's talk.