I started compiling the information for this post several months ago when a dear friend lost one of her grandchildren suddenly. I didn’t feel appropriate posting it at the time. Recently though, I’ve lost a good friend to brain cancer and another friend of mine lost her father. Actually, several people I know have passed on in the last few weeks.
In truth, I’ve been lucky. Both of my parents are still alive. I was too young to remember two of my grandparents who died when I was very young. The only one I have any memories of died a few years ago but it was expected so I wasn’t destroyed by it. I also hadn’t been close to her in years truthfully. My husband is alive and happy and healthy and so are my best friends.
I’ve never lost someone who was really, really super close to me. So, I can honestly say I’ve never experienced the type of grief that I know I will some day. I know it’s coming. It’s inevitable. I can only hope that my ‘good fortune’ continues and I don’t have to experience this kind of debilitating grief for a long while yet.
That being said, here are some scriptures and quotes that gave me comfort when I was grieving for my friend and also inspirational quotes to help you help others while they’re grieving. I hope that they help you and yours.
Matthew 5:4 (NIV)
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
1 John 3:16,18 (GNT)
“This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us. We too, then, ought to give our lives for others! My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love which shows itself in action.”
Note: Words of comfort have a powerful healing effect, but more than words is needed. Remember that the family of someone who has just died is faced with innumerable decisions and arrangements in addition to daily chores. It is frustrating and depressing to lose a loved one and hardly have time to think because you are frantically rushing from one responsibility to the next. So it can be helpful to offer specific help to families in mourning. And if you are in mourning, be willing to gratefully accept offers of help. But to be a healer, you must go where people are hurting.
Viktor Frankl was a Jewish psychiatrist who survived the Nazi concentration camps. He suffered as his father, mother, brother, and wife died with millions of other Jews in gas chambers. He later said, ”They offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from man but one thing: the last human freedom, to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.”
I can’t fathom the kind of grief that I know will come someday. I know that I’m tearing up as I’m writing this post and that’s just thinking about it. My heart truly goes out to those who have or are currently experiencing the lost of someone dear to their hearts. Know that I love you. Know that I’m praying for you and that my heart is breaking for you.
One of the hardest things is to comfort someone who is suffering from this sort of grief. Many of us don’t know where to start or don’t want to say/do the wrong thing. Here’s what I think: do what you’re best at. If you’re not good at words, then don’t stress about offering verbal comfort. If you’re a great cook, bring over a home cooked meal one night (don’t offer, just do it!). If you’re great at cleaning and you know that the family is going to have everyone over after the funeral then go over the day before and help clean their house, or stay late and wash dishes afterwards. Personally, I’m a big hugger. Sometimes what I find I’m best at is just holding on to someone. You’d be amazed how many times I’ve gone up, just hugged the bajesus out of someone who is grieving and cried with them. It seems to be a relief and most of the time they just let it all go and start crying. I can pray over them (even though that’s admittedly totally not my strong suit) and I’m happy to just hold them until they’re cried out (and I am too). Sometimes all you need to do is just be there. When my friends granddaughter passed away, I went to the funeral. I didn’t know anyone in the room besides my friend. It didn’t matter. I wanted to be there for her and show her that I loved her and I was supporting her through this difficult time in her life. I think that mattered to her.
The key is: do something. It doesn’t matter what.
Remember: to be a healer, you must go where people are hurting.