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Saturday, September 15, 2012


It was a memory that she could never forget. As a teenage girl, she watched her mother die a slow death with cancer. She can always remember the painful scenes of her mother wasting away in the hospice bed at home. Now she is married with two small children. Her anger and fear from her mother's death has yet to be resolved. Sometimes those emotions come back to her unexpectedly, then her husband can't understand her behavior, because she just doesn't want to talk about it. She experienced that grief with her family of origin. Now, it is being experienced in certain ways with her own family.

Points to Consider

Every loss in life causes grief.  When a family faces the death of a loved one, divorce, lingering illness, financial hardship, or any situation causing loss, it causes grief. Family members face the grief together, but each member may respond differently.

Grief should be expressed within the family.  Grieving family members need to be able to talk freely. Feelings of grief should not be suppressed. The emotions of grief such as denial, anger, depression, bitterness and guilt, should be identified and discussed. Children as well as adults need to be able to talk about their feelings of grief.

Fear should be admitted and discussed.  Fear in the lives of children can be a major issue the rest of their lives. They need to talk. Questions need to be answered. The faith of a family (John 11:17-27) can become more meaningful than ever through a crisis. Each member needs the loving support of the family. Everyone needs to be assured of the love of God through the difficult days (Romans 8:38-39).

Grief can divide a family.  The emotions of grief can divide a family. Anger and bitterness can be expressed in ways that are harmful and hurt others. This is a time for patience, understanding and loving support. Usually the family looks to a parent or another member to find help and strength. Prayer finds the strength that comes from our loving Father in heaven.

Grief is a journey not an event.  Grief is not quickly resolved. The support and care of family members is needed throughout the journey of grief. Knowing that you have a family to be there for you is great comfort. You walk through the journey together.


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