Helping In Crisis & Loss Webinar
We live in a broken world and there will be times in all of our lives when crisis & loss strikes. As a mentor, you might be privileged to help walk your mentee through one of these periods. These times can seem intimidating, but in reality, they are opportunities to share God’s love in a special way. This webinar will discuss key principles & skills to encourage a mentor walking along side someone in a period of crisis or loss.
When you first found out that you were gonna be coming in contact with someone who was going through a really tough time, what went through your mind? I think Arlan,maybe ones that would hit everybody is not knowing what to say. Certainly, sometimes the grief is so deep that we’re at a loss of words.
And so I think one of the scariest things is, you know, what should I say? And I’m just definitely afraid to say the wrong thing. Right, right. There’s a great point, Matt. And I would say one other point that comes to my mind is in general, I don’t think we enjoy being around people who are going through tough emotion, through very, very strong emotion.
It makes us uncomfortable or can make us uncomfortable, but I have found that barrier of not wanting to enter into a uncomfortable situation keeping me away when I should be engaging.
I think that provides a little bit of tone, I think for the content too, Arlan. And that very often the person isn’t really wanting necessarily an answer. They know the answer’s not gonna be in words. So some of the things that we’re gonna share tonight are going to inform our words for sure, but it’s not all about the words.
It’s gonna be some mindset, some things to be thinking about, a way to help process perhaps what’s going on in a person’s life during grief and all of you have had grief and loss in your life. And you know what that’s like, so we have some sort of experience to draw from as well.
But just as we’re varied people, we all react differently. And so we think about that. So I’m gonna first start with setting up what do we mean by grace and law, because it’s important to realize that it takes on many different forms, grief and loss do. Let’s first talk about a couple of dimensions.
One dimension is the severity. So as you can see here, we have less severe to more severe. Some losses are incredibly severe. When we think about the loss of children, for example, incredibly severe, to losses that are not as severe, maybe a loss of a pet, for example, we wouldn’t say is that that magnitude.
Although it can, it can be very near and impact an individual. Very much we have loss of a job somewhere on this spectrum, and then depending on the situation, that is more or less severe. Another, I think another continuum or axis is to think about. These variables of losses. The next one is realized loss or ambiguous loss.
A realized loss is a loss that is self due to that would something happened that made it a loss? An ambiguous loss is something that did not happen. So for example, if a person puts through a marriage proposal and it does not go through it. It’s rejected. There’s a mixture of both of these losses going on.
There’s a realized loss and that something happened, that rejection happened, but there’s an ambiguous loss in the sense that the marriage and the expectation didn’t happen. It’s, the loss of what could have been is an ambiguous. It’s important to think through some of these things because I think it puts us in a position to walk with people and to understand that grief and loss is happening and either it’s realized or ambiguous.
Other example of ambiguous loss. Would be a person who is rejected for a job proposal, for example, or a student who doesn’t get accepted into a certain college, certain ambiguous loss there. They don’t know what that’s going to mean for them. Exactly. They had hopes that expectations and those expectations are not met.
That would be ambiguous. So we can think about that continuum of realize and ambiguous, and again, you’ve got the severe, more severe on that. And then finally there’s the bottom of the screen. We see public loss and private loss. I think that’s pretty self-explanatory. Some things are very public. A death of a loved one is public. People know about that. The word travels about that very publicly, but there are private losses. A miscarriage for example, very often is a private loss. It’s a loss that you endure with your spouse and maybe only a few close associates. So as we think about law, we’re gonna actually think about four important lenses as we think about grief and care. And so as we work through tonight’s presentation, we’re really thinking and we’re gonna talk about the cycle of grief, the empathy of grief, transitions, and relationships. Many of you have probably seen different grief cycles. There are several different grief cycles out there.
There’s one that at ACCFS we gravitate towards. And it has three main phases at the beginning of a loss. And I’ll just walk through them briefly and then I’ll show you a visual piece on the next slide. Usually when someone goes through a loss, what, and the severity will determine how severe the emotions are.
You know, the more severe, the more severe the emotions. But one of the first phases that you see is this phase of protest, the shock, confusion, very strong emotions. Not even realizing, you know, can’t even believe that this is happening. Almost a sense of denial or just kind of unbelief that they’re going through this very strong emotions, very acute pain.
You’ll hear phraseology like, I can’t believe this and that kind of a thing. Nausea, loss of appetite, sleep disturbance. You know, this is the crisis type. And often that over a period of time that will fade into, or it’ll go into more of a despair phase. Again, a very acute or very strong phase of emotions.
But those emotions are a little bit more around the depressed spectrum. anguish, grief, depression, feeling like, I really want to. Whatever the loss was back, you know, bargaining comes in at this point. How do I get back to where I was before? Is sometimes the language you’ll hear.
And then the third phase, again, very strong emotions but more depressed. Again, it’s this detachment phase or this apathy, letting go of really caring. Not caring what happens to me, not caring what the future is because all is meaningless, all is pointless. There’s, there’s no reason to go on, so to speak.
Again, you’ll hear those different types of languages as you see someone walk through this, Now, this is a typical phase here. But realize that every individual will go through loss and maybe they’ll hit one of these more strongly than another. Maybe they’ll get ’em a little bit out of order, and it’s not a right or wrong way to go through grief.
But there are some common phases which is what we kind of pulled out. And so when you’re working with someone or mentoring someone who perhaps is a public loss, be watching for these types of things to be in their language, in their speech, or if you are seeing some of these emotions come out and you don’t really know what’s going on.
You could gently probe as to perhaps there is like an unrealized loss or a private loss that’s happened, that again, you’re seeing these phases come out. Turn to the next slide if you would, Matt, and we’ll show this cycle here. Yeah, I might mention as well, Arlan was helpful too, I think is some people going through grief understand this cycle, but many don’t.
And for a person who’s going through protests, for example, to know that’s a part of the grief cycle because sometimes they think that they’re coming unglued and dismantled or if they’re in despair wondering if this means something about them. And often it’s very helpful for you to reassure and say, I understand this is despair. It’s part of the grief cycle and in fact healthy to move through that. And I think that wherewithal can be helpful. . Absolutely. Absolutely. And one other point I’ll make too is lots of times we’ll talk about waves of emotion. These waves will come over and you see things are going okay, and then there’s a wave of strong emotion that happens that’s natural. And, that can happen months if not years later, after the event. But what you’re looking for is phase. Not just blips. All of us are gonna have a bad day.
All of us are gonna be protesting, sometimes we’re gonna be despairing, sometimes, but we’re not talking about blips on the radar. We’re talking about long term type things. And so what you see here is this law cycle on the screen. And m, you know, the protest is often the first one in despair and then attach the detachment and then you’ll see an arrow back towards protest.
And, um, what can happen for someone who is walking through this is you can get a hijack kind of in this process. If you look at it, you know, naturally we walk through these different emotions, we walk through these different phases and we eventually come to a point on the left hand side there of accept.
um, where we realize that, you know, we’re not gonna bring the person back. Perhaps it’s a, a loss in that regard. We’re not gonna bring the situation back or, or come back. Um, what was lost is not gonna, you know, reemerge. Um, but we accept it. We rest in God’s goodness and his grace and, and we move on, um, with life, so to speak.
Um, one of the real important. Things to watch for is if someone is in that, in that hijacked phase and they, they can’t get past that detachment and, and they’ll go back into protest or they’ll go back into the despair, they’ll go back into these waves of emotions and they’ll never seem to move towards that acceptance piece.
And, um, again, not a strong timetable. You can’t, you, you know, you can’t stand there with a watch and kind of be saying, Hey, it’s time to move. What is important is that you’re willing to kinda walk through with a person through these phases, ask questions, show that you care, show that you are engaging them, and, um, and just journey with them through this process.
Anything else to share with that, Matt? Yeah, just Arlan, just to mention too, again, to kind of recall that this happens at a different levels of severity. So this cycle, um, you’ll see this cycle for somebody who you might say it, it has a, a le a less severe grief, right? So this is not reserved only for the huge traumatic event, but very much, um, on.
Um, uh, you know, unable to get into a college or, um, rejected for a promotion. Um, these are losses in grief and, and you’ll see this cycle and, and it just really comes up in a lot of, um, in a lot of different examples. For sure. For sure. Why don’t, why don’t you go to the next, um, slide here. There’s another question we just would like to kind of probe out a little bit.
So just giving that, just kind of thinking about what, what that says there. Um, what would be some of your initial responses to a person going through grief for loss? If you were placed into that situation, what would be some of the initial things that you think you could say you could do? Um, just what would you.
share out as you have thoughts? Um, just be available. Um, availability is gonna look different, I would say available, um, via texting, via phone call, depending upon how the person wants to communicate. Um, helping them with children if it’s a situation with a family. Um, yeah, just availability of time, resources, listening.
What I like, um, what you said there, um, Katie, is that, um, kind of the first thing is, this is an initial response is you’re kind of thinking about some of the practical, um, safety, for example, would be something that we would wanna think about maybe right away. Is, is the situation safe? Is the person safe, are are, are very, are the basic needs being met?
Um, and. You’re saying that even with yeah, availability to take care of, of various tasks, um, is a, is an excellent first step. Let’s go ahead and look at the, uh, the next lens. So that first lens was, was, um, the cycle important to think through the cycle of grief. Um, the next one is gonna be empathy. So think about this lens of empathy is, I guess a, um, very important.
Um, important lens. Um, what empathy does is it engages others with both feeling and thinking. So a good way to think about empathy is that you’re using your thinker as well as your heart. Um, both of those together, and if we use only our thinker, sometimes, um, we can overanalyze. , um, crises and loss. We can explain them away, we can minimize them.
We can, um, we can all of a sudden compare them with another grief and loss and determine just exactly how much they should be feeling one way or the other. That’s a total thinker. Um, if we’re all heart and we’re just connecting with emotions, um, we’re very good at sympathizing with the. , um, um, but sometimes we can’t be as helpful to that person, um, because, um, we just simply bleed with Zoom.
Um, and we need a mix of, of both thinking and feeling, and that’s a great way to think about empathy. Now, one of the things on my thinker is, you know, how, how is my experience different or similar to theirs? So that’s what a thinker. Thinker says, oh, they have just, uh, they have been incurred the loss of a job.
Um, now have I experienced that? Maybe I haven’t experienced the loss of a job. What, what have I experienced? It could be different or it could be similar to some of the, the despair or questions or worries that they might have now. Oh, I can remember, um, I, I can remember really worrying about making ends.
During this phase of my life, I had a job, but I didn’t think I was making the ends to mean okay, now I can connect with that thought, connects me with some feelings that they might be experiencing with the loss of a job. Or I might, I might make the connection to say I, I’ve not lost a job before, but I can imagine, um, that it could take a hit on his self.
um, I’m thinking about what he might be experiencing, a loss of a job, a loss of self-worth. Now I haven’t lost a job, but I know what self-worth struggles are and so I’m connecting. Again, my experiences are similar, but they are different. Um, we don’t necessarily project our reality to them. Um, so suppose I have lost my.
I don’t then think, well, I know exactly what he’s thinking or going through or experience because I’ve lost a job too. And, you know, it really wasn’t that bad. Um, I, I have, I do both. I realize how my experiences are similar, but also realize always how they’re different and balancing that it’s what an empathetic person does and they connect with them, with them at a heart level or emotion.
A really nice visual. . A really nice visual is this, this following visual here in the next slide, and that is to get, if you wanna look inside the brain of a person who’s incurred deep grief or loss, that’s what it would look like. If you look inside their brain and then their heart, that’s what you’ve got going on.
I think this image does a great. At just casting all of what’s going on, that we’ve got some really central denial going on here and, and perhaps there’s abandonment, which connects with the guilt and I’m feeling rejected and there’s bitterness, just sprouting. Could be some jealousy or rage. It is. You could just read through some of these.
Depression, anxiety, confusion. Um, this is not meant to be unpack. This is meant simply to say there’s a lot going on in the heart in mind of a person who’s in earth, grief and loss, and this helps. Empathy helps us empathize as we can kind of imagine now how some of these things are being experienced by this person.
Arlan, what would you have to. Yeah, great point, Matt. I would, I would, um, go back to what we had said earlier too, that sometimes you might, what you might see is the emotion surfacing on someone, and you might not know what is going on in the background as to why this emotion is surfacing, realize the, the breath of emotions that loss and grief can.
Can manifest themselves as, and, and so it, it might be worth gently encouraging and probing, you know, um, if you are seeing someone in a, in a very difficult spot, was there something that happened, especially more on that private side or that ambiguous side that is, is putting them into that? That, uh, grief cycle are into those phases there.
Um, and the other thing I was gonna say is that with empathy, it’s very easy, um, to wanna bring judgment with it, um, in the sense that, um, especially if you’ve been through a similar type situation, we want to think that, um, my proportion of grief is what their proportion of grief should be. My cycle should look like, their cycle.
Um, and, and it can come off very. Um, driven on our part, very judgemental on our part. It’s not the intention at all. Um, the intention is, is to, um, is to feel with the person and to, in the sense of the word, empathize with them, to, to realize that. This is, um, a hard spot and we’ve been through hard spots and we’re gonna go through hard spots together.
Um, there is the, the hard part is there is a sense of proportionality that is true, right? I mean, you can have someone because they’re stuck in that grief cycle who’s stew and stew and sue around something and it’s time to move on. Um, but the encouragement I think is, is that naturally we are gonna usually try to push the person quicker than they need to be Push.
and, um, it, it, uh, walking with Grief and Loss is a, is a patient game, um, that we en, um, engage in and it’s a patient opportunity that we engage in. Arlan, you’re gonna speak to this, um, here in a few minutes. Um, but briefly just to mention, it’s important to know when it’s on this empathy space that there’s probably very little words that are gonna fix anything.
And I think that’s helpful to, um, and so sometimes the best thing we can say to a person is, um, I, I am honored that you shared this brief with. And I don’t have any answers, but I’m, I’m going to, I’m gonna walk next to you, um, for as long as it takes or for whatever it takes. Um, I’m gonna, I’ll be here tomorrow and, and that reassurance of relationship, Ireland’s gonna speak more to that towards the end it, but, um, I think let ourselves out of the magic word, um, conundrum, um, because there are no magic words, so.
Um, let’s, let’s look at now at, um, the next lens. So we’ve talked about grief cycle, we’ve talked about empathy, and now we’re gonna talk about another lens. And that lens is transition. Realize that a person in grieving is in transition. Um, again, this more or less informs us than it does, uh, informs our tongue.
It kind of informs our heart, informs our. To help us understand a person, so what do we mean by transition? A person who is grieving or has lost is going from an old normal to a new normal, and that’s very disconcerting. Um, in fact it, it, it’s, it’s very much like a bridge. You, you go from an old shore that you are very familiar with and you’re traveling across this bridge to a new where, and you don’t wanna go there.
And when you’re grieving, you are in the middle of the bridge. and there’s a tumultuous and there’s a lot going on. So some things to think about this person is in transition as they’re going through this grief cycle. And, and so some things that are helpful, you know, what is real and, and what is assumption is a, is a good way to help with this.
We were on this bridge in the middle of transition. We have a hard time know. What the next shore is gonna look like. We have no idea what the new normal could possibly be. In fact, there’s no way that there’s gonna be repair on the other side of this. That’s what we’re telling ourselves. So we run into this real, and I’m assuming things, maybe I’m making things, um, I’m picturing the worst or I can’t imagine.
The big picture, right? The second bullet here. Uh, what is the big picture here? Sometimes as we come alongside, we can help people see a larger picture, the forest for the trees, so to speak. Um, now this might not happen in your first encounter. Probably shouldn’t happen, right? This is as we walk with a person in brief, we can help them sort out and identify what you’re saying is not real.
Um, this is real. What you’re saying is not true. This is true because it’s hard to sort those things out when you’re in the middle of the bridge. I remember a brother mentioning who, who had lost a wife tragically and was in the visitation line, and he can remember one thing from that visitation line, and that was another brother coming through the line who had experienced what he had experienced and he simply said, you will smile.
That’s all he remembers from that visitation. That’s what he, he pulled out as the, the best interaction that he had. So what did that person do? That person realize that right now you’re in a transition and you’re grieving the old normal. I’m just gonna tell you, the new normal will be a place where you smile again.
And that was really his message. And that was all the message he was able to. , but it was a message that connected with this grieving person. Okay, so that’s an idea. What role will time play? Um, Arlan already used the metaphor of, of waves and that very often, very often, that’s what a counselor will use and understand that grief is like waves.
They crash heavy, they crash big, they crash frequently early on as they start this transition and as they move through the transition, those wave. , those ways become less severe and less frequent. Yes, you’re gonna, they’re gonna still have a wave of grief. A year later. Waves of grief still come. But again, it’s this, this understanding of, of the role, um, that time does not fix things.
No, we wouldn’t say time, six of things, but time, um, these things happen in time. Help. Time council happens in time, perspective happens anytime. So, um, this concept of, of transition, Arlen would, what would you have to add to that? I think you covered it well, Matt. I, I, I appreciate the, the fact of, of separating out fact and truth.
Sometimes we use the words forest from the trees to this idea that in a, in a sense of, of grief, it can be, the world can become very closed in, very fixated on, on the events that happened or the loss that was felt or what did not happen. And, uh, We can forget the big picture, the forest of, of the things.
I mean, one of the most helpful things that, that counselors have found in helping with grief is something as simple as writing down a thankfulness journal or writing down, you know, writing down your blessings each day. And as a mentor you can be, uh, an encouragement in that. Um, Helping them realize the many, many, many good things that are going on in the midst of the, of the hard spot that they are in.
Um, again, gently, um, not judgmentally, not pushing them along at a pace that you think they should be at, but just meeting them where they’re at and, and pointing out the forest every so often. Um, when the trees have gotten a little too big.
Let’s go ahead and go to the next point then. Yeah, so the last lens is this idea of relationships and um, as Matt alluded earlier, um, we call this sometimes the ministry of presence. Active listening to them being there, being available. Um, great example in the scriptures. When you see job’s, friends come to job in the midst of very, very difficult, um, spaces.
And for the first little bit they did not talk. They just sat and listened with him or just sat and were there. And, um, that was some of the most powerful ministry they engaged in, was just that listening. . And that’s an opportunity that we have, and it’s an opportunity that all of us can do, um, where we make ourselves available, um, to, to hear what they have to say and to help ride out those emotions and waves with them.
Sometimes it can get, um, it can get difficult because, because in, in the midst of strong emotion individuals, we, we will all say things very strong and that we don’t really mean, um, But to have someone walking with that and gently at times kind of redirecting a little bit, um, is, is very, very powerful.
Couple of practical points here in the second section there. Obviously, the first thing is you, you wanna make sure their immediate needs are met. Things like food, things like safety, things like shelter. Um, depending on what the, the, the loss or the tragedy is or, you know, just take care of the immediate.
Needs, and the church is usually very, very good at that. Um, and, and extremely good at that. Um, sometimes just playing the role of, of air traffic controller a little bit as, as the church is doing its rallying thing, can be a very important role that someone needs to play. . Um, second thing is, is you want to realize and, and affirm to them that you are here for the long term.
This is not, I’m not here just for a couple days to see you through the worst and then gone, no, I’m here six months from now. I’m here one year from now. I’m here on the anniversary. I’m here two years from now. When, when suddenly you just, just that wave hits and you just need to talk and have coffee with someone.
That’s a very important piece that a mentor plays. Very few of other relationships in a person’s life can play. Um, that’s the, the nature of mentorship. It’s a long-term marathon type relationship. Um, another piece to realize is that often we are not the solution for what they need. We might actually be the connector between them and someone else.
Uh, maybe it is connecting them with a, a group that they can walk through. This more poignantly with, or maybe it’s connecting them with someone else in the church family that has experienced, um, something similar that they can just talk to and, and be available to. That’s a very valuable role, is a critical role that we can minimize and, uh, that ministry of connection is a very powerful thing.
And then the last one, which I think really can tie into what can be a fear for. is, um, there are times when. It goes to a level of extremity where more help is needed, where there needs to be a referral or helping them get to a place of, of, of, um, help. And always as you’re walking through with them, kind of be watching for just those warning signs.
Um, depression is gonna be one of the big warning signs. Anxiety is gonna be a big warning sign. Um, if you would see, um, extreme behavior, if you would hear, you know, suicidal type things, um, I’m gonna harm myself or someone type things. Um, very, very erratic behavior. Yes, that’s a. To, to raise that up and to refer that to someone to get some help and, um, help them get some help.
Um, but even if you, um, see this more kind of, you’ve been walking with someone for a period of time and they just, they just don’t seem to be getting better. and they’re talking about things they’re outside your comfort zone. Um, outside your, your, um, where you feel like you’re, you’re comfortable talking about, um, that another opportunity to be a bridge between themselves and some more, um, uh, professional type help.
Um, again, a, a call to a c acc, cfs, just to talk it through with the counselor can be a very. , um, good next step, um, where you could get some, some pointers or some, um, input. Um, and one last note with that. If you do feel like if it’s a time to make a referral or to, to engage them with someone else, don’t do it apologetically or don’t do it like you have failed.
Don’t feel like you’ve failed, that you couldn’t fix them or fix the situation. That’s just a reality. Um, walk through it and just in the sense that, um, you’re staying with them, you’re not going away from them. Maybe you’re just bringing in help to go alongside with them. You know, say something like, you know, I think we’re getting to a spot that’s, that maybe we need to have some extra help with this, or somebody else to kind of talk us through.
Would you want me to, to help you with that? Or to walk through that with you and, and help make that first call. That’s a critical role that could be played by you, um, as a helper, a mentor in some of these difficult, difficult. , um, one last verse there at the bottom, which is a really powerful verse, and just, just to point out some of the, the phrases in that verse.
It says, you know, the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all of our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them, which are in any trouble by the comfort where we be ourselves or comforted of God. It speaks to that. You know, God has comforted us in all of our trouble. So someone who is going through any trouble, we can connect with that emotion through that comfort that God gives us.
Not because we’re, we’re, you know, special. I mean, because we’re connecting with the comfort that God gives us and has given us in the past and, and sharing that encouragement with someone else. It’s a great promise there in Second Corinthians. It’s really. , um, to, to take to heart and to be willing to engage in Any thoughts, Matt, with the relationship piece before we go to the last question?
Yeah. On that third bullet, advocate on their behalf. Um, just a, just a point, um, and I’m just gonna kind of speak from the minister perspective. I, there’s times where there’s crisis and loss in the church and, and. It’s hard to know. Do should a minister go to that, should we not? It is so helpful when somebody close to that situation, calls, reaches out and says, Hey, you know, we need somebody here.
And I’m just, I’m just speaking from the other side of the coin. Sometimes there’s a lot of people who don’t know if they should do something. They don’t know if they should step in. They don’t know if the meal is needed. They don’t know if they can even ask. They’re wondering if they’re close enough to this situation.
Like, am I close enough to this situation that I should like go to the house? All of those things are like difficult for everybody, everybody’s wondering. Um, and so when you are, when you are close to that person, you can, you can get a sense of that. It’s appropriate if a minister were to come now. Um, yes.
It’s appropriate if somebody were to, to bring a meal and allow people to help. Uh, and because there’s tons of people are waiting to respond and they just don’t know if they should.
Let’s go ahead to that last slide. We asked questions. Um, when you registered for the, uh, webinar, most of you had to submit a question, which we really appreciate. It gives us an idea of what you’re expecting or what direction to take. Uh, the webinar, I thought this was a really good question that came in.
How do you know when it’s time to transition from the initial sprint mode or crisis mode of a situation to a more long-term? Type mode of ongoing support. And um, that’s a, that’s a great question. It’s a tough question. Um, it’s one that’s, that’s hard to know, um, a direct answer to, because lots of times, um, every situation is different, you know, and so you have to walk through each situation a little, a little bit differently.
Um, I’m gonna make one point and then I, I’m gonna open it up to anybody who wants to chime in. Just unmute your mic and, and share from your experience as well. Um, one thing I have noticed, um, in working with people who are going through difficult spots is to check that, that, that sense of that stuckness that we talked about earlier, if in the midst of the cycle, they seem to be going back through it over and over and over.
And I’m talking over a period of, of months now, not days or weeks, but but months where they potentially are in that, that stuck spot. Um, and especially if they are still at a pretty low level of functioning, um, they still need a lot of help. Um, maybe they’re still not able to, to take care of basic needs of the family or, or whatnot.
Um, that to me is a key that, that we’re still in the sprint mode. In fact, we maybe need to, to raise and refer, you know, and get some more help in than what we have right now. But if you see those things fade away, if you’re seeing the, you know, the person kind of using more language of acceptance and, and you know, I know that God has a plan in this.
I know that, that I will smile again. Like that great example you used Matt. Um, and you’re seeing a higher level of functioning occurring, um, uh, less neediness, not quite as many calls, more infrequent. Um, the subject matter just seems to be maturing in what they’re talking about. That’s a mode where you’re shifting more to that marathon stage.
and um, then you still have a role. We still have a very critical role, but that’s where I encourage you on your Google calendar or whatever, to, to mark the anniversary of the passing and, and or of the, of the situation. Just put it in there as a little reminder and, and make sure that on that anniversary you’re available for that person.
Yeah. You know, that’s a marathon type strategy versus the the sprint type mode where we’re taking care of basic needs. . Um, other thoughts though? I, I talked a lot there. Open, you know, other thoughts that others might have or other experiences they might have. Please feel free to share out.
One thing that I think of too, Arlen, is I just picture that bridge. Um, I see the sprint mode being kind of that transition, uh, Once that person gets on the other side of the bridge, they’re still going to need support. Um, and that’s where the marathon goes in. Cause they’re gonna, they have a marathon of a journey once, once they cross the bridge.
So getting into the other side and it’s still, uh, maybe, uh, too much imagery or whatnot. But I think in some ways that’s kind of helpful, um, to know when that new normal sets. Um, we’re, we’re kind of now in marathon. Absolutely. Great point With that, any other thoughts or questions? Maybe we’ll just open it up in general, um, as we kind of come towards a, towards an end here.
Any other thoughts or questions on anything we talked about tonight? Arlan, this is James, um, James Fair. Uh, I, I guess I’ve got very little experience in most of this, so it was all, all very good just to, um, listen and think about and really didn’t have anything and most of those questions to add or ask, but I think this is very, very helpful for me.
Thanks, James. Really, really appreciate. Um, one of the things that comes to mind, um, as far as a question, um, dealing with different people who have grieved widow widows, people losing children, different, um, generational grief and loss, um, somebody not getting a job, a proposal, something like that. All of those pieces of loss, what, how would you say to balance the difference between.
Um, like anticipating a date coming up or a hardship or, um, a friend who gets engaged, like anticipating all these dates and calendar pieces is important, but not assuming that it might be hard. Do you understand my, the, the, um, fine line balance there? Yes. The date of a death of an anniversary date is important.
Um, But also not just assuming that that might be hard. There might be small victories in it. And how do you, how would you balance that? Um, am I making myself clear? I guess that’s a great point. Go ahead, Matt. Did you wanna talk to that? Well, I’m, I’m not, I think I understand what you mean. I’m not sure. I mean, um, sometimes there’s, Should I say something?
Maybe it’s not a big deal. Maybe I’m silly for bringing this up again. And I think part of that answer is, is, um, when we just invest in people in between the anniversaries, um, and make it clear that, that we’re available. Yeah. We don’t necessarily need to mention it on any of the anniversaries except for, um, that availability and that presence is particularly, um, understood.
Um, and, uh, And, and I think it, and you make yourself available, I guess is what I’m saying, rather than a assert. Yeah. But, um, no, that, that’s, that’s, go ahead. No, I, and I was just gonna maybe mention one more thing, and this really more speaks to the law of a loved one, but I’m sure it works in other situations.
I just haven’t thought it. . Um, but I know from, um, some, from some personal example and experience that, that when people comment on the memory of of, of a, of a person, that’s a very honoring, I’m not sure that ever doesn’t hit right. Um, to say I remember that and leave it at that. I remember that. Um, it, um, Uh, very often hit to right, not that you’re trying to open up some questions, you’re just simply stating the fact that you remember.
Yep. And, and, um, and I, I’m sure there’s probably some, um, I, I think for the most part, people like to be remembered. Yeah,
that’s very. Okay. I do have one more thought. So I do, I do remember a situation where someone shared with me once that actually, it’s not what you say, um, so often it’s, it’s really what you don’t say and then just the squeeze of the hand and, and you know, one of the phrases that we often use that I. Can really be more hurtful than actually helpful.
And that is, um, God will never put on you more than you can bear. That’s, that’s, I’ve actually heard that from more than one person that shared it with me, that that is not comforting when you’re going through severe grief. Yeah. . Yeah. And again, I think both of these situations can, can get into that piece where, um, the, the words can be a little bit hollow.
I mean, they, they, they can, we can try to be saying good things, but, but when the emotion is very strong and the, and the feelings are very strong, logic doesn’t work real well. And, and it’s, it’s not about a logical argument to win. It’s about the um, just. Being there and being available and um, and someone that’s a squeeze of the hand or a knowing look.
Um, that kind of a thing. That’s the bond, that connection that’s really, really powerful and, and it ties in greatly with what Katie was just asking there earlier too. Uh, you’ll know, I think where someone is at, if you are in tune with them and have a relationship with them, you’ll know if it’s hard or it, it’s more about being available that they know they can reach out to you if they need.
Because there’s been a pattern where you have been there, you’ve been available, and they have reached out to you and you’ve listened to them. And that’s, that’s a key piece and a key role. I’d like to, I’d like to make one comment on that, uh, very astute point, um, brother James about, you know, God’s not gonna lay on anything you can’t bear.
Um, and I think we can do this with a lot of, of basic biblical truth instead of, instead of stating that truth, we acknowledge that. There’s a difference there. So stating the truth says, um, you know, all things work together for good. Who those who love God. You know, I’m stating the truth, but when I walk with a person and point out, um, in passing through life that I can see that God is equipping you for this.
I can see that God is, is hurting you. Um, as you handle that situation, or I can see that glimmer of, of, of good happening out of this, you’re commenting on the truth of the scripture and those particular points, but you are pointing to the reality of them rather than having and reminding them that it’s, that those facts are true in and of themselves.
I, I don’t know if that makes any, But I think it’s not that we abandon the scriptures that are very comforting, those two are very comforting. Um, but I think we package it in a way where we come along and we just place our finger gently on the reality of those things as they play out, rather than telling them that that’s going to be true.
I don’t, I don’t know that made any sense. Well Arlan, we are right at 8 32, so do you wanna Yeah, yeah, let’s go ahead and just bring to a close. Um, I just would, um, one thing I just wanna emphasize too, these are difficult things and these are testing. , um, and they will happen. Um, but view them as opportunities.
Opportunities as that Corinthians verse challenges us to share the love that God has shared with us, with others, and, um, going in with that heart, that intent. . Um, there is very little ill that can be done in those situations. There. You’re gonna be a comfort, you’re gonna be an encouragement, you’re gonna be a, a loving hand and a gentle touch to someone who is going through tough times.
And at any time, if you feel like you are in a spot above your head or really difficult things, um, that’s where, um, ACC CFS exists for that very purpose. Um, we’re there to listen and. and to be available to, to help the helpers as well as those who need help. So just remember that and, um, and always feel free to reach out, um, uh, and call and, and ask for input or advice at any time.