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How To Discourage A Grieving Friend (via Vaneetha Rendall Risner at Desiring God)

The more articles read about supporting those in grief the better.
Vaneetha Rendall Risner has given and received unhelpful support in grief and compiles some helpful observations about patterns to avoid and to follow:

What’s the best way to discourage a grieving friend? I can tell you what I’ve done.
I’ve asked numerous questions, trying to fully assess the situation. I’ve mentioned others who are going through similar trials, extolling their bravery and faithfulness. I’ve freely doled out advice, even mini-sermons, to my friends about how their painful situations will turn out for the best.
I wasn’t trying to be discouraging. I was trying to help. Surprisingly, my advice didn’t help at all. My words just added to their pain.
I know, because I’ve been on the receiving end of that kind of “help” as well.

Read the whole post at Desiring God.

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Just Because Jesus Loves Us And Knows How To Fix Our Problems Doesn’t Mean He Takes A Shortcut Through Our Grief (via Scott Hubbard at Desiring God)

God sees our tears, and in the person of Jesus he has shed tears of his own.
Our tears matter.
From Scott Hubbard at Desiring God.

When Jesus joined a crowd outside the town of Nain and watched a widow weep over her son’s body, “he had compassion on her” (Luke 7:13). Later, when Mary fell apart at Jesus’s feet over the death of her brother, the man of sorrows went one step further: “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Jesus had compassion, and Jesus wept — even though Jesus was about to speak the word to snatch them both back from death (Luke 7:14; John 11:43).
Just because Jesus loves us and knows how to fix our problems doesn’t mean he takes a shortcut through our grief. The same one who raises the dead first stops to linger with us in our sorrow — to climb down into our valley of tears and walk alongside us.


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Things To Know About Grieving People (via Nancy Guthrie)

Nancy Guthrie has a post about ten things to know about grieving people.
They’re quite helpful, for those supporting the grieving and for those navigating their own grief.
There’s a good range of observations.
Here’s one.

It is extremely hard for a grieving person to have to give a report on how they’re doing. But they do want you to invite them to talk about their grief and their loved one who died.
We tend to approach people who have been through a loss with the question, “How are you?” It is simple enough and it certainly demonstrates caring. But many grieving people feel at a loss to come up with an adequate answer to the question. “Not so good,” might sound pathetic. “Good,” just isn’t the truth. They sometimes feel as if the person asking will judge how they’re doing this grief thing if they’re honest about the ups and downs and waves of grief that sometimes overtake them. Much better is to ask an open-ended question such as, “What’s your grief like these days?” It acknowledges that it makes sense they would be sad and allows them to talk about it.

Read the whole post here.