Ministering to the Grieving

From the Depths of Sorrow is a series in which I reveal my heart and personal journey through my grief. Our son, William, passed away at age 11 months and 10 days on April 24, 2012. He is dearly missed by everyone in our family and we hope to live a life worthy of reuniting with him and our first child that we lost through miscarriage.

What You Can Do

When a child dies, family and friends are at a loss for words.  What can I say that is comforting?  Do they want to be left alone?  I want to call, but I don’t want to cause them more pain.  These are some of the thoughts that come up in the minds of others.  Many choose to stay silent, avoid eye contact, and keep to a distance.  Others choose to make contact, send emails or calls, and let those grieving know that they are available.

I would like to address this blog to those that feel they don’t know what is the right thing to do.

1. There are no “right words”.  There are no magical phrases that take the pain away from losing a loved one.  Words are still important to let others know you are thinking and praying for them.  When you speak, “I am praying for you today,” it makes a connection from one heart to another.  Keep it simple and just be yourself.  It is okay to say, “I don’t know what to say.”  Don’t worry about making someone cry because the hurt and tears are already inside of them and they will come out whether you reach out or not.  You can’t make anyone hurt anymore than they are already hurting unless you just choose to be cruel. 

2.  It is nice to ask how you can help the family.  Sometimes the family won’t know how to respond or what they need.  Try to give concrete examples to make it easier on them.  Can I set up a meal schedule for delivery to your home?  Can my boys come on Saturday to mow the lawn and do yard work?  Is there a day or days you need someone to babysit for you?  I’m going shopping this afternoon, what can I pick up for you?  I cannot stress enough what a huge help this is for a family.

3.  Stopping by their house to drop off toiletries, pantry foods (granola bars, cereal, crackers,) or other helpful items are a huge blessing.  Even if the family isn’t home you can leave a note with the items on their doorstep and make their day a little brighter. 

4.  Sending cards, emails, phone calls etc… are just a few ways to let others know I am here for you.  Add a phrase that lets them know they don’t need to return the call or reply to the note; it is just a loving gesture to say that you are thinking of them today.

5.  Follow their lead, which means if they let you know they want space and alone time then be respectful of their wishes.  When a grieving family shows up to an event they are letting others know that they are trying to reach out to others.  Meet them halfway by acknowledging their presence and making them feel welcomed. 

6.  There is no time limit when grief is completed or plan to grieve correctly.  Honestly I don’t think I will ever heal but rather be transformed in an ongoing process.  Allow those grieving to grieve.  There is a desire for others to want the grieving person to get over it and get back to normal.  You can’t tell someone how to grieve because everyone has their own journey.  Supporting the hurting heart is a beautiful work of mercy so don’t rush anyone through their pain.

There is so much more I could say, but really it just boils down to being a good friend.  When you are a good friend, you will be loving those in need.  There are many families out there that are in need of this gift that you can provide.


There Are No Right Words

by Veronica Wallace


Oh there they are

I’ll stand afar

To give them space

Won’t see their face

I’ll look away

Stand here and pray

I just don’t know the words to say


Oh here we are

We’ve come this far

It’s hard to stand

In a lonely land

We’ll wait and see

Can you come to me?

A hug, a touch, is comforting



by Veronica Wallace


Get over it

Time has passed

Just how long

Will your grief last?


Move on ahead

Don’t stay behind

Stuck in memories

Left in your mind


Say what you want

You just don’t know

Love does not end

But always grows


My heart will ache

Each passing day

Love does not stop

Nor waste away


Gone from my touch

We are apart

Forever my child

Within my heart


Thank you to all my friends who have blessed our family over and over again with your loving gestures.  We are supported by your loving prayers and friendship even when some of you are miles away.  We would not be able to endure without each of you lifting us up.


  1. Thank you so much for this blog. I truly appreciate you being open and honest in showing others how to help those who are grieving. It is so hard to know how much space is needed by the grievers or what would be too upsetting to talk about. I have been thinking about you so much. You are a great mother and neighbor. I continue to send my prayers to heaven for you and your family.


  2. Thank you, Veronica, for this insight. There are no right words. We continue to pray for your beautiful family! God's blessings to you all.


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