Bereavement is a subject that no one wants to talk about. No one wants to think about life without their loved ones. We talk about lengthening our lives, exercise, healthy eating (OK, SOME of us talk of such things!) and other items that assume we want to be on this earth as long as we possibly can. I can relate. The truth is, though, that human beings have a 100% mortality rate and that cannot be escaped.
Last weekend I traveled to Fulton, Kentucky to be with the Parkway Church of Christ to share with them some thoughts about grief. My friends of many years Cecil May III and his wife Patti are the minister and wife there. As in every church there are many who have suffered losses over the years. One sister told me of losing her child 20 years ago. Fresh on everyone’s heart is the Turner family, who said goodbye to Caleb just ten months ago. He was active, gregarious, beloved, and only 18. Of course, that resonates with Maggy and I.
Saturday night about 50 gathered to hear a message called Getting Acquainted With Grief. There were several from area congregations and guests from in town. Following that we had about 45 minutes of question and answers and sharing. Sunday morning we talked about some of the Mistakes Made While Helping the Bereaved. The two remaining sermon times were devoted to several Practical Ways to Help the Bereaved.
There was good attendance, interest, questions, conversation … so I guess I shouldn’t say it is the subject no one wants to talk about. We do avoid it, but there are few of us who haven’t lived in the shadow of some loss. I think more than any information passed along there is value in being with others who have journeyed with grief and getting the picture that there are brighter days ahead – even if that is hard to imagine. We NEED to talk about it. Especially Christians … because we speak with the light of hope. Thanks, Parkway Church of Christ, for allowing some time to speak some light and encouragement into the darkness of sorrow.
In my next post I’m going to place some links to some writings about grief that have been helpful to me.