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Grief Resources for the Holidays


This December, many people are dealing with grief - whether it's fresh loss in an already difficult year, a season full of reminders of a loved one long gone, or ambiguous grief over what is missing. Some of the resources below are for the grievers, some are for those who love the grievers. Let's handle each other with care and wisdom this season.


The main takeaways from the resources below are pretty universal and simple:

  1. Listen. Don't speak.

  2. Provide practical help without waiting to be told what they need - food, gift cards, errands, help with the kids. Those in deep grief have a hard time naming their needs.

  3. Be personal. Say the name of the one who's gone. Share a memory. Give a meaningful gift in their memory - an ornament, a photo, a tree or memorial stone.

  4. Don't offer a verse or platitude, even if it's true. Pray for discernment in timing. Some people need to talk through the loss, others need distraction or laughter - sometimes it's both. Let God work through their grief, He is close to the brokenhearted.

ARTICLES & PODCASTS


What Not to Say to Someone Who’s Suffering I just want someone to be there. To weep with me. To say she is sorry things are so hard. To not expect me to have perfect theology…What an amazing gift it is not to feel judged by every word I utter in desperation.


Three Things to Consider Before Sharing Scripture With a Hurting Friend There is a back door for sharing Truth when the amygdala has taken over the brain’s logic center. For me, the back door is music and a hand to hold. For my child, it is food and/or the dog.


What to Say to Someone Who’s Grieving We don’t have to say words to send a message. We can tell someone how much we care by showing up and by listening.


Podcast: Navigating Grief during the Holidays (38 minutes) But to use their actual name somehow esteems your loss in it. It somehow demonstrates, "I remember." And this person you loved, I loved him too and I miss him, too.


Podcast: The Surprising Power of Lament (32 minutes) The Bible gave voice to the fact that there are two things that happen in suffering: I believe that God is good, but this is really hard. And lament is the language of what you pray when you’re in pain that leads you to the point of trust.


BOOKS


The One Year Book of Hope (devotional) by Nancy Guthrie

What Grieving People Wish You Knew - about what really helps (and what really hurts) by Nancy Guthrie

These links are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase from these links, I will receive a small stipend - at no extra cost to you. Thank you!



This song, Blessings, was a lifeline to me during our four years of infertility; even now, I listen with tears. Joni Eareckson Tada, while introducing the song, offered this wisdom: "Be with people. Don’t slap biblical truth down like it were a pint of blood and say, ‘Here! Ingest this, this will do you good. You’ll feel a lot better; it will show you how to rejoice in suffering.’ Hook your spiritual veins up to the one who is bleeding out of control with depression and infuse your life into them. It’s going to cost you something, but normal Christian service is always sacrificial service.”

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