1. Life & Death Series Part 6
b. Introduce Dexter
2. Craig reads scriptures –It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart. (Ecclesiastes 7:2) and Blessed are you who weep now, for
you will laugh. (Luke 6:21)
a. The church is supposed to be a house of mourning, a place where it’s OK to weep and be blessed with God’s comfort coming from the family of faith.
b. But sometimes we feel uncomfortable with grieving people. We don’t know what to say or do.
3. Dexter response :
a. Letter from Rose Lake girl: “When You Lose a Friend”
b. Let’s get clear on some things NOT to say or do.
i. List of “don’ts”
ii. Especially: “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” If you say it, be prepared to really do it!
1. “Thoughts”: Share things about person who died or your relationship to the survivor and what makes that special
2. “Prayers”: Actually start praying!
4. Craig: one thing I’ve noticed is that people have heard that there are certain ‘steps’ to grief, and we try to evaluate what “step” someone we know or fellow church member is on. Is this a good way to understand people’s grief?
5. Dexter response
a. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ ‘5 Stages’ of death and dying
i. New research: actually the ‘steps’ are a myth but there are some specific feelings people have as they grieve. But they may jump around with these feelings, repeat them, never have some of them.
ii. Not “steps” but natural emotions associated with grieving
1. Denial, Anger, Depression, Guilt, Fear, Shame, Resolution.
2. People can have all or some of these in any order
iii. Dr. Turnasky’s grief
experience: grief, relief, guilt in a circle.
b. Best thing to do, rather than try to pin down and understand another person’s grief, is to be a quiet presence of an understanding and accepting person
i. Story of Doctor who didn’t say a word, was “so helpful”
a. Recap of how we can care for those left behind
b. Is there anything you want to let be your last words in this series to the church when it comes to death and dying?
7. Dexter response
a. The Church is a house of mourning and a house of life – a place for sadness and joy, comfort and healing in our Christian fellowship. Not a place where people hide their feelings but see them get redeemed by Christ.
b. If you really accept the fact that the meaning of life is a gift to God, and your life is a gift back to God, you will love and serve others well including those who are mourning.
8. Craig wrap-up –
a. Where, O death, is your sting? Where O death, is your victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55)
b. We’ve talked about transforming death and dying into ministry.
i. Our ministry to others through our own death.
ii. Our ministry to each other in the midst of grieving, mourning.
iii. What have you learned?
9. Obituary Assignment
a. Don’t turn in, but share with someone this week. Talk about how it has changed or shaped your thoughts about death and how to prepare NOW.