Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"What Can I Do?"

What's on my heart today...the loss of a very special man in our church.  He went home to be with the Lord on the 9th of September.  Today we attended his memorial service, and it was a wonderful time of remembrance of how this man has touched so many lives.  As we filed through the family reception line, I could hear friends sincerely saying to his bereaved wife, "If there's anything I can do..."  What will be her needs in the months following this day?  What can we do about them?  These are some of my thoughts from past experiences of loss.
  • Flowers and meals:  There are always plenty of these at the time of loss, but why not wait a month or so and send them flowers to let them know that you are continuing to think of them  and are praying for them.  A few months down the road, invite them to dinner either at your house or take them out to breakfast, lunch, or dinner and offer to drive them. 
  • Stop by for a visit:  I think that most people worry about saying the wrong thing, and avoid the bereaved.  The thing they need is to be able to talk about what they have experienced, and how they are doing, what is difficult, and if it is getting easier, or what they miss.  Give them a call especially in the evenings when they are alone in a dark, quiet house. 
  • Mark your calendar:  Make it a point to find out the deceased birthday or anniversary and send the bereaved spouse a note to let them know you are thinking about them or invite them over for dinner on that date.  They will appreciate your remembering them on specifically difficult days.  Holidays are difficult especially if they have no family near.
  • Getting back to church:  Do not overwhelm them with sympathy upon their return to church.  Floods of caring can reduce them to tears.  Cards or even visits to the home might be more appropriate.  Do not usher them into the single groups immediately.  Allow them some time to get used to their change in martial status. 
  • HelpfulnessFor widows, men might help with car needs such as oil changing or suggest places where she can have car repairs and tune-ups done.   If in a winter climate, offer to put the snow tires on.  Assist with lawnmowing or household fix-it jobs that need to be done.  Call and offer these services and don't wait until she asks.   
  • Helpfulness:  For widowers,  ladies might help to prepare a meal and have it taken to them.  Many men are not good cooks, and even though there are plenty of good restaurants, but there is nothing like a home-cooked meal.  I can remember my mother helping a widower who lived around the block from us with his washing and ironing.  He would drop it off to her,  and she would wash, iron and fold and have it ready for him in a few days.  Occasionally she would add  a fresh baked pie to the top of his laundry basket.  He so appreciated that. 
"Is there anything I can do?"  So easy for that to be ushered out of our mouths, but are we doing anything?  I have said many times that love is a verb; it is something we do.  May our love and concern for those in need be seen in the thoughtful things we do to help them through their most difficult of times. 

Joining Shanda for On Your Heart Tuesdays
Joining Darlene for {Titus 2}SDAYS

Have a Blessed Day,
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