10.28.2012

The Art of Public Grieving

I struggled slightly with this post, going back and forth with choosing a title that would clarify the topic but not be offensive and even trying to write about something different. It just wouldn't happen so I chose to stay on the topic of grieving.

My husband's grandmother passed away two days ago and our family is fresh in the stages of grief for our loss. You must understand that grief is not new for this family as they have lost a a baby sister, a mother, all four grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and numerous close friends over the years of pastoring. When I first came into the family I was overwhelmed by the loss that they had already encountered at such young ages and stepped into married life just in time to walk with my husband through the loss of his mother. Grief is a very personal thing unique to each person in its affect but I must say that a pastor's family must learn to handle it carefully.

Families look to the pastor to help them through their own times of grief but who is there when its the pastor's family that has lost? Who comforts those who mourn in the pastor's house? I have watched from the side as my own family has grieved quietly at home and put on a brave public face. Their heads raised, their eyes still moist with tears, their hearts broken beneath the double breasted jackets they wear. The pastor and his family know that they emulate God's hope to the congregation. They know that the words of comfort that they speak to others are words for themselves as well and even as their feet grow weary in bringing the good news to others, it is still that, the Good News.

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