Helping Others Process Grief

04.02.20 | Care | by Kyle Davison Bair

Helping Others Process Grief

    In times of crisis, many people grieve. Life may never go back to the way it used to be. That loss can hit hard, regardless of how big or small the changes may be. Even if you personally do not feel grief, you can help those who do. These tips may help you as you care for others experiencing grief.

    Tip 1: Ask the person grieving what they’re feeling. Don’t limit this to “how are you doing.” Ask specifically about the emotions they’re feeling—sadness, loss, grief or anything similar. Ask deeper questions. Focus on listening rather than trying to solve their problems or trying to talk them out of their feelings. You can’t do either.

    Tip 2: Choose to be a listening ear for them. Make sure they know you’ll listen whenever they need to talk. Also, regularly check in with them by asking what they’re feeling.

    You might not know what to say. That’s okay. Your primary job is to listen. They may not even understand their emotions. They don’t need you to do so. They just need to know you’re there for them. Love sticks close.

    Tip 3: Pray with them through the past, present and future. Thank God for the good that they enjoyed in the past. Ask for strength, wisdom and peace in the present. Praise God in advance for the good that He will bring in the future, even if you have no idea what it will look like.

    Tip 4: Remember that grief is not the final word. Jesus endured the worst grief when the Father turned away from the Son as He hung on the cross. Yet Jesus chose this path because He knew joy was on the other side—“For the joy that was set before Him [Jesus] endured the cross” (Hebrews 11:2).

    Grief is terrible. Pain is horrid. The cross was brutal beyond compare. But it could not keep Jesus from His joy. It was, in fact, the only pathway to it.

    There is good on the other side of grief. There will even be joy. The pathway there is trusting God. He brought the joy of eternal life out of the grief of the cross. He can bring joy back in this life as well.

    But remember, this is a journey. It’s okay for us not to feel joy today. Just take the first step by trusting that God may bring joy in the future.

    Kyle Davison Bair is Prayer Ministries Pastor at New Hope Church. He has a passion for people to call on the name of Jesus for direction and seek an authentic culture of prayer in this church.