September 29, 2011

Knowing, Loving, and Loosing Those Close to You

One of our church members is a young woman who grew up in a rural area that was populated mostly by her relatives. As you might suspect, her family was close. That was great; however most of her relatives were quite elderly and she loved them all like they were her grandparents. She moved away from her community looking for better opportunities and soon she had secure ties in our church with a steady job and a new husband. But when her relatives began to die, she took each one hard and with each successive death, she sank deeper into depression, brought about by sadness but also guilt to leaving them. Her church and friends were supportive, but she would just about recover from one loss and another would hit her.

In the ministry, we grow close to a lot of people, many of whom reach out to us and become extended family. When we move or there is a death, we take it hard. And I'm not really even talking about the pastor, but also us, the pastor's family.

Children in the parsonage see a lot of death. In fact, my younger daughter never fails to remind us that her dad had to take her to a funeral one time (actually two times) because we couldn't find anyone to keep her while I was in class.

Being close to a lot of people, whether with everyone you've ever known through FaceBook or at church also means that we are more susceptible to bearing grief and enduring loss. This makes it all the more important to have your own support but also to talk to your kids. Even if the grief doesn't affect them directly, if it affects you, it affects them.

Grace, Kathy

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