Through the Valley:
Pastoral Care of the Dying and Bereaved
How to hold the hand of the dying and walk alongside the bereaved
By Lou-Ann Redmon
As a pastor are you comfortable ministering to the dying and bereaved? Consider these common responses and where your comfort level lies:
- “Are you still crying? It has been 3 weeks. You know your mother is in heaven. Where’s your faith?” This comes from a loving Christian husband, trying to comfort his wife.
- “Grow up. Stop sinning. Get in the Word.” This comes from a well-known pastor to an angry young Christian husband with two children, after the death of his wife.
- “You’ve believed in God all your life. Why do you question Him now?” This comes from a mother, a strong, lifelong faithful woman of God, following the death of her son in war.
If these Christians, deep in the throes of grief’s agony, were sitting in your office, would you offer those words? Would you consider them good advice? Would you, or could you, offer something else? Explore these questions and find answers that can provide a healing balm to the broken hearts within your church. People can find solace and comfort inside your church because there are things you can do to be an effective caregiver.
Read the rest of this article by obtaining a downloadable PDF of the Fall 2010 issue of Enrichment journal.