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Grief Resources

Published On November 3, 2023

We know that though the memorial is behind us, we have weeks and months of grieving and remembering still to come. We’re committed as a church family to walk through this together, support one another, and pray. We have some resources and suggestions to help us all through this process.

What is a healthy way to handle grief and loss?
“What to do with our losses? . . . We must mourn our losses. We cannot talk or act them away, but we can shed tears over them and allow ourselves to grieve deeply. To grieve is to allow our losses to tear apart feelings of security and safety and lead us to the painful truth of our brokenness. Our grief makes us experience the abyss of our own life in which nothing is settled, clear, or obvious, but everything is constantly shifting and changing. . . . But in the midst of all this pain, there is a strange, shocking, yet very surprising voice. It is the voice of the One who says: “Blessed are those who mourn; they shall be comforted.” That’s the unexpected news: there is a blessing hidden in our grief. Not those who comfort are blessed, but those who mourn! Somehow, in the midst of our tears, a gift is hidden. Somehow, in the midst of our mourning, the first steps of the dance take place. Somehow, the cries that well up from our losses belong to our songs of gratitude.” –Henri Nouwen

What Can We Do Next?

Maintain Spiritual Practices
Maintaining Spiritual practices while grieving helps us turn to God.

  • Read and meditate over scriptures (some specific passages are listed below)
  • Pray for the Dunagan Family and our church
  • Seek out Stillness and Silence. Allow your feelings, fear, and pain to come up
  • Write down things you are thankful for on a regular basis
  • Go for walks, connect with nature to feel God’s presence
  • Be creative in whatever way that suits you – write, bake, paint, sing, play an instrument, etc.
  • Journal your thoughts and feelings
  • Seek out community
  • Seek out joy & laughter

Turn to Scripture
Here are a few scriptures to lean on in this season:

Books, Articles, and Podcasts on Grief

Children and Grief

  • Be clear, concise, and speak without euphemisms; state the facts
  • Answer the questions they ask, and refrain from adding additional info. By God’s design, children will ask what they are able to understand
  • It is typical for children to be sad one moment and return to play the very next. That is expected as they do not yet have the cognitive ability to know what “forever” means
  • Children will also re-experience grief as they mature.  At each cognitive level, they will develop a deeper sense of grief and revisit the loss
  • Children under the age of 3 and most under the age of 4 will hear this news and continue on with their day. Children 5 and older will be able to show moments of sadness and then carry on. Children under the age of 5 still exhibit egocentric thinking, so might ask questions like, “Who will tuck them in” or “Who will wrestle with them?”
  • Children older than 6 or 7 will have a very different experience of grief.  Specific prayers for the friends of Wheeler and Annie.  This age child will want a connection with their friends and will see grieving as a group effort…they are not wrong
  • Allow your children to see you grieve, cry, and share moments of sadness.  Grief is an experience that all humans will encounter.  You have the opportunity to show your children how to grieve
  • Watch the movie Inside Out
  • Recommended Books:

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