Archive for the ‘bereavement’ Category

Once again this week, we’ve seen many killed in America by someone who decided to use guns they owned to needlessly kill others.

No wonder we find ourselves asking again, “where is love?”

Love is the only force capable of turning an enemy into a friend. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

With all that’s going on in the world it can be hard to believe sometimes that love can overcome evil. But if we believe in God, and believe in Jesus, we must believe God’s love can overcome the evil in this world.

How many are there in your immediate family?

Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Well, as some of will know, I don’t have any brothers or sisters so I’m an only child. I therefore have no idea what it’s like to have grown up with brothers or sisters – to play with, fight with, confide in and of course love.

When I was growing up, nearly all my friends had brothers or sisters. So I felt different because I never experienced the same childhood relationships with siblings that my friends did. These days I still sometimes wish I had brothers or sisters so I had someone to confide in, someone to talk to, particularly now my Mum and Dad are no longer here.

As I have no brothers or sisters, I’m also never going to be an aunt to anyone – I would have loved that, as I know from my own experience with my Aunt Mae, how special a relationship an aunt can have with their niece or nephew.

So for those of you who do have brothers or sisters, remember how lucky you are – even although you may argue and fight with your siblings and you may lead very different lives from your siblings – they are still your family so I’m sure you all still love one another, even if you wouldn’t openly say that to one another!

1 Timothy 5:5 (NIV)

If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

The love between you and your brothers and sisters should be everlasting, because they are your family!

MerryChristmas

I’m not sure how many people will read this blog post as it’s Christmas day and most will busy with your family, eating, giving and receiving gifts, and celebrating Christmas. But if you are reading this let me wish you a very happy and blessed Christmas!

Christmas is time for family and friends, joy and celebration, but is it that for everyone? Sadly there will be many today who are alone, mourning the loss of a love one who have passed away or homeless. There are also those who may have thire family with them, but didn’t have enough money to buy any gifts or even buy a meal for them today.

So today as you celebrate, I ask you to take a few minutes out from your celebrations and pray for those who are finding today very difficult.

Enjoy your Christmas, and enjoy making new memories with your family today.

Merry Christmas!

Those of you who know me will know I have a few favourite Christian artists – one of them is Mark Schultz. So it was no surprise when I heard his song entitled “Different Kind of Christmas”, that I loved it. I first heard it just a few months after my Mum passed away, and so this song touched me because of the lyrics and the story behind it.

When we suffer loss, Christmas can be a really awful time as we are mourning our loss so deeply. Two years on from my Mum’s death and four years on from my Dad’s death, I’m still struggling, and in the last few weeks I’ve found myself missing them more than ever – probably because everyone I talk to is talking about spending Christmas with all their family.

Here’s what Mark Schultz had to say about his song:

This song is special for me and my family. I wrote it with my wife after her dad passed away 3 years ago. It was our first Christmas without him, and Kate was decorating for the holidays. She came into the garage holding a box of ornaments and had tears streaming down her face. She said to me, “it’s a different kind of Christmas this year”.

At some point in our life we will all lose someone that is close to us, and that first Christmas without them is a tough one to get through. I hope this song will bring comfort to those who are mourning the loss of someone this season. Please share it with someone who might need to hear it this year.

May the peace and love of Christmas be with you today and every day so that the pain and loss you may be feeling this Christmas, becomes a little more bearable.

There are thousands and thousands of words in the English language, but isn’t it funny how we still can’t find the right ones sometimes.

If a friend is hurt or upset by someone else it’s not easy to know how to make them feel better about themselves.

When someone is bereaved it can be hard to know what to say to them, not because we don’t care, but because we understand their pain and heartache.

Likewise, when struggling with life in general, telling someone just to ‘give themselves a shake’ or ‘snap out of it’ is not helpful, however it doesn’t make finding the right words any easier either.

When we are that person I described above who’s in need of help or support, it can difficult for us also to find words to explain how we feel. Unfortunately others can’t fully understand our feelings/emotions or what’s in our heart if we can find the words to express them. However God can!

Even when we are silent and find we have no words of prayer to say to God, He knows and understands what’s in our heart and on our minds. He will therefore take those unspoken prayers and answer them in His own way and in His own time.

Here’s a song which expresses all those thoughts/feelings perfectly:

Saying goodbye to a loved one is never very easy – Whether it’s saying farewell to them at train or bus station, or the airport; or leaving home for the first time to live on your own or go to university.

There are of course other far more difficult situations that we sometimes have to cope with, such as leaving a loving one in hospital, a care home or a hospice, knowing it’s unlikely they will ever come home again.

Then there is of course the worst of all, when we have to say our final farewells to a loved one when they pass way, that can be one of the most difficult things any of us ever have to deal with.

So how to we get through those times? We trust God.

Whatever the situation, God will watch over our loved ones, just as he watches over us, so trust God!

 

There’s a song I’ve used several times in the last few weeks that talks about our beliefs as Christians. The song is called We Believe and it was written and performed by the Newsboys.

I make no apology for using the song again today, as ever since I came across it again a couple of weeks ago, I’ve found the words and the melody of this song going through my mind almost constantly.

On days when I’ve felt down, just listening to the words/melody again have brightened the day. On days when I felt there was no point in doing specific things, listening to the words/melody have given me more energy. On days when I’ve felt alone and missing my Mum and Dad, even then this song has helped as it’s reminded me that Mum believed – and because they brought me up in the Salvation Army, I too believe, and therefore I know I will see them both again someday.

I believe, do you?

Out of sight, out of mind.

For some things this is definitely true, but when it comes to those we love, they are definitely not out of our mind when they are not around.

Whether we have loved ones who are working far from home or moved to another country, they are in our mind, even if we don’t speak to them as often as we used to do.

For those loved ones who have passed away, they too are definitely not far from our mind even although they are no longer here. If anything they are on our mind more, because we miss them, and wish we could have more time with them.

Do we feel the same when it comes to our friends, neighbours, colleagues and fellow christians? In other words, if we don’t see any of these people one day, do we just ignore that and carry  on, not bothering to check they are ok, or do we keep them in our mind, check up on them, and pray for them?

Don’t let anyone you know fall out of your thoughts just because you don’t see them as regularly as you used to.

There is only one certainty about life, and that is death.

The death of a loved one will touch us all at some time in our lives. And when it hits us, we all cope with grief in a different way, and for different lengths of time.

Grief isn’t something that can easily be described, as it’s different for everyone – some people take years to work through their grief, others take a few months, while some are able to acknowledge their loss and move on almost immediately.

Even then though, you may find times when you think you’ve worked through your grief, but the next moment it’s right there in front of you staring at you, and wrapping itself around you again.

No matter how hard you try not to let grief take over your life, it will demand you feel it and acknowledge it. There may be days when you’ve made it through the day without your grief, but then the second your head hits the pillow, your grief comes flooding back and it lies heavy on your heart all night.

Grief is natural, but have you noticed how no-one really knows what to say to you when you’re grieving, even though all you want is for someone just to hug you or hold you while you let your grief pour out.

Grief is natural, but when you’re experiencing it, it can seem like the hardest thing you’ve ever had to deal with. Grieving shows us just how deeply we care about or loved the person who has died. It may even be that it’s their death that actually makes us realise just how much they meant to you.

Don’t let another day pass without realising how much those around you truly mean to you, because when they are gone, you will never get another chance to tell them just what they mean to you.

In days when there seems to be almost daily reports of man deliberately killing their fellow-man, it can be difficult to remember that in amongst all these events, God is still here.

It’s therefore our responsibility of those of us who confess to being Christians, to continue to remind the world that God is still here, and that despite the evil that man continues to inflict on others, good can still overcome evil.

There is still hope!

Ten thousand years may pass away
And bring the dawning of a cosmic day;
Age after age, time after time hold its sway:
Man walks alone, amidst uncertainty,
Only one thing can still make him strong;
In the pain, in the doubt, in the loneliness.
In the struggle of right against wrong:
Somewhere amidst the confusion,
There will be hope, there will be love, there will be God

All time will pass into eternity
And man must venture on a life unknown:
Journey alone, each to his own destiny:
In life or death, amidst uncertainty,
Only one thing can still make him strong:
In the pain, in the doubt, in the loneliness,
In the struggle of right against wrong:
Somewhere amidst the confusion,
There will be hope, there will be love, there will be God