Do you have a grieving friend or family member? It can be difficult to know how to encourage them, especially when you don’t want to say or do something unintentionally hurtful.
Ron Hutchcraft with Ron Hutchcraft Ministries knows grief. His wife, Karen, died suddenly four years ago. He had loved and lived life with her since he was 19 years old.
If you want to show Christ’s love to a grieving friend, Hutchcraft suggests the time you take to listen is just as important as the words you say.
“Let them talk to you about their memories of the person they lost,” Hutchcraft says. “I think there’s something helpful and therapeutic in just talking about funny things that happen in your life with them, hard things that you went through together. It might seem like, oh, that’s sad. But you’re helping them process this person’s life.
“We tend to focus so much on the circumstances of someone’s death and ‘what if’ — if only he had left five minutes later, if only the doctor, if only. And you just rehash the last days of their life. But they had a life that was a lot more than just the end of it. So help them begin to celebrate that person’s life and not just grieve their death.
“If they cry, if they speak doubts, hurt, anger, whatever, let them. That’s part of the process of not letting this go in where it morphs into anger and depression and a hard heart and bitterness. Get it out and let them talk about it.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh
CALL TO ACTION
- Take time to listen to a grieving friend, and let them talk openly and honestly about their grief.
- Pray for and with your grieving friend or family member.
- If you can’t pray with them in person, write your prayer in a text or email to send to them.