“Grief never really stops. You always carry it with you in different ways.”
Live long enough, and you will encounter grief in some shape or form. For some of us, our experience with grief hasn't taken long years. The death of a loved one has caught us off guard, by surprise, the last thing we would expect and it shocks us almost to a state of paralysis where we don't know what to say or do.
As the daughter of a Pastor, I've been to my fair share of funerals. Some to serve and some to sit in the family section. I attended one of the heaviest ones yet this past weekend, and I've spoken with several friends shaken by this sudden death of a young husband, father, son and friend from college. As my heart grieves for my friend's loss and the loss of several others over the last week, I was moved today to shift this week's#Mondaymotivation to tips on how we can stay uplifted to show love and support for our friends that are grieving.
If you are a friend of someone who is grieving, I hope this moves you out of your paralysis and provides some positive tips on what you can do when you have no clue what to do.
G.ive time > Out of love, our initial response is to be present. To call, text, stop by, stay over. Depending on the situation and the griever's needs this can be helpful, but know that they need time to grieve. That doesn't necessarily look the same for everyone, so be sensitive to the requests and ways your friend chooses to grieve. "Tell me what I can do for you" is a good way to offer support while still being sensitive to your friend's space.
R.each out. > Don’t say call if you need me. They won't 9 times out of 10. You become the initiator when a friend is grieving, and anticipate ways to help out as your friend is adjusting to a new normal. The small tasks can become big tasks to someone grieving, so no anticipated gesture is too small and oftentimes the most appreciated ones aren’t the flowers or big gifts but the dinner you bring by or the day of the week you ask to pick the kids up from daycare.
I.NTERCESSION > Listen. If you forget all of the other tips, remember this one. Pray for your friend! Intercessory prayer is the most powerful and positive thing you can do. Fast for your friend and pray for peace, comfort and support as your friend faces this new transition. Psalm 107:28-30
E.njoy each moment > As you walk down this path alongside your friend, remember to enjoy each moment in life. Life is not promised and death is guaranteed, spend your dash in between in love, joy, peace, purpose and service to others while you have the opportunity.
F.ree to feel. > One therapist writes, "Grief is intensely personal and grieving belongs to the griever." I love this because we can all SAY what we would do, how we will act or the way we will respond. The truth of the matter is, you don’t know how you will respond. So allow your friend the freedom to feel whatever intense emotion they are feeling at the moment. And also allow freedom for you to let your friend know you DON'T KNOW what to say or do. So words like "This hurts. I love you. I’m here." are ok. It’s not your job to fix your friend's hurt, but as friends that embody the love of Jesus Christ we can empathize and show love one to another.
I pray that this was helpful in some way as you strive to support our friends and loved ones that are in the early stages of grief. There are so many churches with grief support ministries, please check with your local church or the grief share support group website below for assistance as well as see the resources below. Be blessed 💗
“Everything is Not OK” by Megan Devine
#STYLEbyBritt #SBBmicSTYLE #Mondaymotivation#muchprayermuchpower