By Kristin Schultz
When someone we know experiences hurt, we long to provide comfort in times of loss. We want to say and do the right things that will salve their wounds and bring peace in tough times. But knowing what to say or do can be difficult. It can be especially difficult if we ourselves have not experienced a similar loss.
God knows the pain of loss. Jesus lost his friend Lazarus and wept. Jesus felt loss and loneliness when his disciples betrayed him and ran into hiding. But Jesus also overcame loss and grief and even death itself. For those who believe in Jesus, death is not the end; eternal life is the ultimate end.
The promise of eternal life surely brings comfort, but grief remains. People can know that their loved ones are with Jesus and at the same time feel a terrible emptiness. It is at these times that we can share God’s comfort, but we don’t have to rely on our own wisdom or words. Instead, we have access to books, products, and resources that can bring comfort in times of loss.
Many books have been written for people who are grieving. Some books are written from a clinical or psychological point of view. These books can be helpful for some people as they seek to understand their feelings. These books can also assist family members or caregivers who are feeling the grief differently than the person closest to the loss.
Other books are personal accounts of tragedy and loss. These authors share their own experiences to encourage others and to connect or empathize with others. People can receive comfort from hearing other people’s stories and draw strength from the experience.
There is great comfort in times of loss by drawing on the power of God’s Word. Books like Grieving with Hope: Leaning on Jesus utilize Scripture and scriptural truths to strengthen and encourage people who are grieving by showing them that when their own strength fails, they can lean on Jesus.
Books can also encourage children who have experienced loss. It can be especially difficult to know what to say to children who have experienced loss. Books like Remembering My Someone Special can help adults assist children in working through their feelings.
Products to Help Those Who Are Grieving
In addition to books, small tokens or remembrances can bring comfort in times of loss. Small wooden boxes can hold items that remind the grieving of the person they lost. Grief journals can help people process their feelings. Prayer crosses or pieces of jewelry can remind people of God’s nearness in times of sorrow.
Being surrounded by God’s Word is also a comfort. Daily devotions or Scripture prayer cards can bring peace and strength at a glance. Prayer prompts and Scripture verses can also serve as a starting point for journaling or talking through grief with a friend, pastor, or counselor.
Each person processes grief differently. Books or products may bring one person comfort in times of loss but not have the same effect for another person. Because grief looks different for each person, it is important to know about resources in the church and community that help individuals process their experiences.
Many communities have grief support groups. Many congregations host these groups on their church’s campus. For people in communities without such groups, online and Christ-centered support groups may be a good resource. Personal counseling is another great resource for those struggling with grief. A licensed Christian counselor can provide one-on-one support.
When we see someone hurting, it is our heart’s desire to bring comfort in times of loss. Often, just being there and showing up for someone who is hurting is a blessing. But when we don’t know what to say or can’t express comfort, hope, peace, and strength in the ways we want to, we can draw on books, products, and resources to encourage others.
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