I often hear people talking about God teaching them this lesson or that. Though we have many stories about the ways that Jesus was teaching people, most of them don't fit in our sense of "teaching people a lesson." This video from a few of my friends will help you understand what I mean. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdYWGRfKW9w
Before considering what to do to be helpful, Gavin Ortland suggests four things NOT to do. (Read the full article at "How not to help a sufferer.") In summary, his four things are don't be too quick to talk about what God means by this. don't be too quick to tell how your story turned … Continue reading How not to help a sufferer.
Some of us are squeamish about blood, especially in the hospital. So when we need to visit a friend, family member, or someone from church, especially after a trauma, we're afraid that we'll be distracted, that we'll feel faint. Here's a simple tip: look them in the eyes. https://youtu.be/znZ28-76z88
At our hospital, chaplains are the people with the responsibility and opportunity to ask families what funeral home they will be using for their loved one. It's a difficult time, shortly after the death. And yet, it's a helpful question because it gives the family something to do, a clear sense of the most immediate … Continue reading One way to find a funeral home.
I’m sorry. Nothing: (Sixty seconds of silence) May I take care of that? (and take the tissue out of their hands and give them a fresh one and throw it away and wash your hands) This is hard. Yes, I remember that time. I don’t know. . whether pets are in heaven . . . … Continue reading 10 simple phrases when visiting in the first hours after a death.
The Humanitarian Disaster Institute provides incredibly helpful, practical resources for people who are helping with disaster relief. It was founded by Dr. Jamie Aten, a disaster physiologist at Wheaton College. Jamie has written about his own personal disaster with cancer, and his work in several natural disasters. These links take you to downloads at the HDI … Continue reading Resource: Humanitarian Disaster Institute.
In the last hours and minutes of people's lives, laying in hospital and hospice beds, we often hear the question, "Can they hear us?" Chaplains and nurses often say, "Yes. Of course. The hearing is the last thing to go." But I think there may be a more important question to ask. And that is, … Continue reading Can my loved one hear me?
Cynthia B Eriksson starts her article Suffering With: A Tender Journey of Mutuality in Suffering, Comfort, and Joy with words that capture the experience of people who walk through pain with other people: "Friends, this is a challenging journey. The call to “suffer with” in the role of pastor, therapist, counselor, or chaplain is one … Continue reading Resource: Suffering with
People often say, "I wish I had told them I loved them" the last time they spoke with their loved one. Instead of worrying about the last conversation, consider remembering the best conversation. https://youtu.be/mTelNU4nz30
https://youtu.be/I66jHbOCfow Jason's book is How Trees Deal with Loss.