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Summary: The Stages of Human Grief, and the way that God accelerated the process for the Disciples, because of the task he had for them. The Importance of Witnessing

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The Need Greater Than Grief

Mat 26:56, 69-70, John 19:25-27, John 20:18 - 19, John 21:1-22, Mark 16:19 - 20, Acts 1:8

October 15, 2002

I. I think that most of you know that I am a chaplain for a Hospice. People tell me all the time they can’t see how I do that.

A. I do have to admit that it is tough at times, but it is also very rewarding when you can see that you have helped someone through a tough time in their lives, and if you are interested we are constantly looking for volunteers to help families.

B. One of the things that I deal with a lot is helping families deal with grief after one of our patients dies, and there is a lot more to that than I had ever realized before I started doing it.

C. Grief has a way of creating problems in people’s lives that nothing else does, it can make us unable to function. It can keep us from doing the important things in life that we should be doing.

D. I was in a seminar not long ago trying to learn more about how I can help people deal with grief and I learned something about the bible that I did not know.

E. The lecture was not about the bible it was about grief but as I sat there listening to what the speaker said God had my mind wander over to some stories in the bible and I saw something in a way I hadn’t looked at it before.

F. When Jesus died on the Cross the disciples were faced with the same emotions about grief that we all are.

G. They had the same things to deal with that we do.

II. There are four main things that we have to deal with in a healthy grief process, and grieving is work, it is some of the hardest work that we ever do, but it is easier to do work if you know that the tasks are, and that is what the speaker I was listening to was talking about. William Worden says that the tasks of grief are:

A. We have to accept the reality of death.

1. When someone that we love dies it is a shock and even if we know that it is going to happen we find ourselves saying "I just can’t believe they are gone" or something like it.

2. Our minds don’t want to accept the fact that someone we love is really gone.

3. And for some people it is really hard for them to accept that the person that they loved is not here anymore, and one of the reasons for that is that the next step is dealing with the pain that the loss brings.

B. When we lose someone it is painful. We humans are don’t like to lose things. We grieve the loss of a set of car keys to some degree, we go back to all the places that they might be again and again to look for them because we don’t want to admit the they are lost, and when we have to admit that they are gone there is usually some kind emotion associated with it.

1. When we lose somebody the pain is much greater and the reason that it is hard to accept that they gone is because we are trying not to have to deal with the pain, but the pain is something that we have to work through to go on and learn to deal with it and go on with life.

C. Once we have accepted the fact that someone is gone and we have dealt with the pain that it brings, we have to make adjustments in our lives.

1. We have to make the changes that are necessary to go on living, and we have to fill the empty places that are left when a person that was so much a part of our lives is gone.

2. Our life will never be quite the same after we lose someone close to us, but it can be a good life, it is just different.

3. And to be able to go one with life we have to get past the shock, and deal with the reality, we have to deal with the pain that the loss brings and we have to make adjustments in the way we live, to make living possible with out the person that we loved.

D. Once we have made the adjustments to our lives that have to be made, then we have to in a way relocate that person.

1. They take on a different role in our lives, usually through the memories that we have of them.

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