Cinda Gorman wrote this article for Leadership in 1989, and readers deeply appreciated its wisdom. Less than two years after the article appeared, friends in her congregation lost their 20-month-old son in a drowning accident. She told us recently, "The death was probably one of the most difficult things we've experienced. It was more intense and just as emotionally wrenching as the death of Jarrett [whom she writes about in this article]. It never gets easier." Yet later, the grieving father shared with Cinda, "You've helped us like no one else could." That's why a pastor is so needed when a child dies, and why we decided to reprint this Leadership Classic.
I was pushing my two elementary-school-aged boys through their bedtime routine when the phone rang.
"Cinda, this is Dr. Steele. I'm in the emergency room at Grossmont Hospital with Keith and Judy Meeker. Their son, Jarrett, hanged himself on a backyard rope swing this afternoon. He's been pronounced dead. They asked that you or your ...1