When there’s no hope of recovery, how do you recover hope? You and I both know that question, I'm guessing. I wrestle with it regularly as a hospital chaplain. When I’m called to a room after Eddie hears his diagnosis. When the ambulance brings in 5-year-old Bree. When you hear that the treatment isn't working … Continue reading When there’s no hope of recovery, how do you recover hope?
I sat with an old friend, Dave Johnson, for a series of conversations. This one is about pain and grief. https://youtu.be/GgR1p9NeXEs
I think they were nine and twelve. But I’m terrible with figuring out the ages of kids, and I’ve decided that asking isn’t helpful. Instead, I start listening and start talking and calibrate my vocabulary and concepts to the responses I’m getting. Thirty feet away, through an open door, a public hallway, and a closed … Continue reading A conversation with kids about death.
Adriel Booker wrote this for pastors who want to care for parents after miscarriage. What parents need from pastors after a miscarriage 1. Make time for grieving parents as early as possible. 2. Acknowledge the significance of their baby’s life. 3. Attend to both the mother and the father. 4. Encourage them to be honest … Continue reading How spiritual leaders can help in time of miscarriage (link)
Here are the words I use every time I begin a funeral service. We don’t want to be here. Just so that’s clear. We’re here because when God made us, he built us to respect lives, and to acknowledge that when an earthly life ends, something significant changes. There is something that is right about … Continue reading How to start a funeral service
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.
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.
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
I used to say, "I'm sorry for your loss" when I was in moments of deep pain and death. I'm adding a new phrase. "This is hard." Let me tell you why. https://youtu.be/T9EeLPR3v4k