Grief

This afternoon, I performed the funeral services for a seven-week-old boy. Yes, you read that correctly, seven-weeks-old. There is never a time when a loved one passes that we say, “Oh, they lived long enough.” But, seven weeks is difficult to process.

While I would never claim to understand the pain, grief, sorrow, and loss the parents and family of this young boy were experiencing, I did find myself wrestling with feelings of grief. This one just doesn’t sit well with me. I just found myself asking the question, “Why?”

Now, we professionals in the ministry are supposed to have all the Christian cliche answers. You know, I was supposed to say, “Well, God has some kind of plan in all of this” or “the Lord works all things out for good for those who love him.” But, while I do believe that ultimately God will do something with this, those just doesn’t seem appropriate in a moment like this.

My heart absolutely broke when both parents decided to share some beautiful words about the love they had for their son during the service. The mother also read a letter written by the baby’s older brother. It was incredible. I was overwhelmed by their ability to share as they were saying goodbye.

The most difficult moment to watch was when the family had their last moments before the casket was sealed. Viewing the grandparents and parents touching and kissing this tiny baby boy for the last time was gut-wrenching.

I really struggled through this one. I encouraged the family to remember the love they felt for this little boy. I encouraged them to remember the joy that he brought into their lives. I encouraged them to lean on one another…to love, support, and encourage one another in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.

I believe God is in contol of all things. I shared with the family that the God I believe in and serve is big enough and strong enough for their pain, anger, frustration, doubt, and questions. I shared that I believe it’s often our pain, anger, frustration, doubt, and questions that lead us closer to God. When we stop asking questions, it’s tempting to stop seeking, to stop learning, to stop growing.

This was a difficult day. But, it reminded me of how blessed I have been. I have not faced this kind of loss. I’m not sure I’m strong enough for it.

I will be keeping this little baby boys family in my heart and prayers for a long time.

2 thoughts on “Grief

  1. My six-year-old son died last July. I know it’s hard for others to find the “right” things to say. There really is nothing to say. For you and the parents I would recommend a book by Dennis Apple called “Life After the Death of My Son.” He is a pastor in Kansas whose son died. He also ministers to parents who have lost children. He talks about the grief process that parents go through but also has sound advice about how he renewed his faith after his son’s death rocked his belief in prayer. Out of all the books I’ve read (and I’ve read a lot), I found this one to be the most honest and helpful. I wish you all the best with this family. They have only just begun to travel on a very long and difficult road.

  2. Wow! Thanks for sharing. I will definitely check out this book and share it with the family! In these moments, all you can really do is encourage people to love, support, and encourage one another…while still seeking God (no matter how hard it may be to overcome those feelings of bitterness). Thanks again for your comment!

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