Thank you, Dolores Hatfield, for bringing some much needed practical attention to the subject of grief in your February letter to the editor. Everything stated in “Grief Doesn’t Run on Schedule” should be understood and brought to the attention of well-meaning friends and pastors.
Until a person experiences a loss that changes your life forever, it is doubtful he or she will understand. Someday, if and when I recover from the grief of losing my 42-year old son (a loving husband and father of four), I would like to write a brochure on what to say–and what not to say–to someone who is grieving. Unfortunately, some of the “not” statements are made by Christian leaders whom you hope would understand more about the grief process. Lots of “words” are said and pronounced, but the reality of such a loss is not eased by these expressions.
For those who have lost children (of any age), I highly recommend a national organization called “Compassionate Friends.” There you will find people who have walked the walk and truly understand the heartbreak of such a loss. If any clergy want to know what their members are going through, they should attend also. The strength and courage I have seen displayed at these meetings is remarkable.
P.S. I also so agree with the letter from Lesa Harr–”Come Down to Earth, Please”–also published in the February issue.
Send letters to “Letters,”
c/o The Lutheran Witness,
1333 S. Kirkwood Road,
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295;
or send them via e-mail to Lutheran.Witness@LCMS.org.