Jump directly to the Content

GRIEF AFTERCARE

When you leave the graveside, care for the family has only begun.

Things are going pretty well, I thought as I hung my alb and stole in the closet. I had just completed the funeral for Stan Conners, the second funeral in the congregation to which I had moved recently. As I adjusted my collar and slipped into my sport coat, I ran through a mental check list: The soloist sang well, I felt good about my sermon, and the family was pleased with the service. I had accomplished my goal of providing spiritual comfort.

A comment two days later forced me to question that assumption.

I stopped by the house of a young widow. Three years earlier this woman's husband had died of a sudden heart attack. She shared her memories: finding her husband slumped over the wheel of the car in the garage, telling her school-aged children their father was dead, beginning the struggle as a single parent.

She observed, "The pastor and the church didn't minister to my greatest needs. Oh, the pastor saw me right after the death, and he met with me before the service. He said a few words ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

December
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Growing Edge
Growing Edge
From the Magazine
No One Took Christ Out of Christmas
No One Took Christ Out of Christmas
Let’s dispense with our worries that Christmas as we know it isn’t Christian.
Editor's Pick
The Worst (and Best) Passage for Generosity Sermons
The Worst (and Best) Passage for Generosity Sermons
The widow’s mite story is about more than her sacrificial giving.
close