Last year over eight million people suffered the loss of someone in their immediate family. (http://www.griefspeaks.com/id113.html) Let that sink in. Someone you know lost someone in their immediate family. The world is full of people that are hurting. Grief is as much a part of life as death and taxes. It’s guaranteed. We all will lose someone we love, and our hearts will break into a million pieces. The question is how we can practically help our neighbors, friends and family through these times? There’s no better time to show the love of Christ.
1. Cook them a meal.
- We all know that in a time of grief there is nothing better than a home cooked meal. If it’s left up to those of us are in the throes of grief there will be no meal. If you don’t enjoy cooking (or you aren’t that good in the kitchen) pick up food from their favorite restaurant. I’d strongly encourage you to not just send them a meal but take the time to hand deliver it. If you’re on you’re a game, bring them a second meal frozen. This is a time l to splurge on good food, because in the hours of grieving you tend not to eat. This is one less daily task they have to think about.
2. Personal Visit or Phone Call.
- As time passes those who are grieving are still in pain. When the funeral is over, and reality is set in the hurt can be almost unbearable. Six months after losing a major family member you are still hurting like it happened yesterday. They still need someone to say I remember that your life has changed. All too often we return to our daily rhythms and forget they are forging a new normal.
3. Invite them over.
- One of the hardest things after someone has died is the quiet. Quiet because someone is no longer there. Their walk, their smile, their presence, always knowing they’ll be in that same chair. There is great comfort in the consistency of someone you love. There is also great emptiness when they are gone. The loss is felt and noticed.
4. Help with house chores.
- When I lost my father there were so many things my mom was now forced to take over. Often these are things you never even thought of. Household tasks like mowing the lawn, taking care of the kids, or some time alone to engage in something they enjoy. Sometimes the simplest of tasks can be the most daunting.
5. The comfort in the chaos.
- My best memories of dinner with families involved the comfort of the chaos. A house full of kids and friends and smack in the middle of their daily routines. Nothing fancy, nothing special, nothing to make me feel set apart. The greatest gift you can give is inviting them in to your every day.Their lives will never look the same after a great loss. Everything is different, and a new normal is beginning to develop. A new normal with a very large hole and all too often we forget.
Above all else pray for this person. Pray frequently and often. Bring them into your life into your every day. You don’t need to get out your best china, and prepare the fanciest meal, just have them over and fix what you have.
What are some practical things people have done for you in your hour of grief?
Above all love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4: 8-9