Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Ways and Words to Bless a Grieving Family

In light of all that happened last week,  I started thinking about writing this post. My family was greatly blessed during all of the craziness of planning a funeral and having all of our family come from across the country. 

I often find it difficult to know what to say to people when they are going through a loss and I thought that it would be a good idea to share a few ways to bless people going through a difficult time like this.  

Each situation is different but it is always nice to feel like someone is thinking of you and praying for you and your family. 

10 ways to Bless a Grieving Family:

1. Cards offering condolences. 
               Our family received many cards and emails offering condolences and each one was so wonderful to read. Each honored my grandmother and spoke highly of her and of her life. It touched the whole family to know that there were friends around the country thinking and praying for us. 

2. Drop off a big can of Coffee. 
               Planning a funeral service takes a lot of work and everyone is emotional and not sleeping well. It is always a great idea to have coffee around.  ( We went through a ton of coffee, having an extra can around was great because we didn't have to go running out to get more) 

3. Deliver some Baking. 
               We were blessed with a large batch of muffins that my moms friends baked and delivered to us. It was so nice having them there for the people that showed up both before and after the funeral. They were delicious and made breakfast so much easier on me because I didn't have to think about making things for everyone. 

4. Deliver a Tray. (Fruit, Veggie, Cheese)
             My dear friend dropped in the day after my Grandma passed away, she came to offer a hug and a card, as well as a tray of cheese, sausage, olives, and crackers.  It meant so much that she stopped in and that she thought of helping us out with food.  My dad was really struggling to force himself to eat because there was so much going on and he said he felt numb. It was such a blessing having something that I could quickly pull out and offer to him and others when they came over. 
5. Send Flowers. 
             We had lovely flowers that were sent from my Aunt and Uncle's Church, they were delivered right to the funeral home and were a nice addition to the flowers that were purchased for the funeral.  
             Flowers are such a great reminder of life and beauty. They are so quick and easy to choose and have delivered if you are too far away to deliver them yourself. 

6. Send a Meal or Restaurant Gift Card 
              Funerals bring families together. And when there are a lot of people arriving at your house it can get a little overwhelming trying to feed everyone and ordering in can get pricey. We have a wonderful family and everyone really tried to pitch in but it is nice not feeling stressed about money when you are trying to host everyone and make them feel welcome. 

7. Monetary Gifts for Donation. 
              I was blown away by the generosity of others after the death of my Grandma. Our family received many cards that were a great blessing to receive, but we were also blessed with money to be given as a donation in my Grandmas name to Cystic Fibrosis Canada.  Two of my cousins have Cystic Fibrosis and the donations made to the organization really touched our hearts. 

8. Offer to pick up or drop off family from the airport. 
              It can take a huge load off of the host of all of the family if someone offers to shuttle people too or from the airport. 

9. Offer to house some of the out of town family. 
              Staying at a hotel can be pricey as it is but it really adds up when you need to be around for more than a weekend or when you have your whole family with you.  

10. Attend the funeral Service. 
               I had the honor of doing the eulogy for my Grandmothers funeral at it was so nice to look into the crowd and see familiar faces of family friends. It means so much to the family to receive love and support from those that attend the funeral.

Words of Blessing and Comfort for those who are Grieving:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Isaiah 43:2

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Hebrews 4:16

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
Revelation 21:4 

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,

 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,

 a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,

 a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

O God, listen to my cry!
    Hear my prayer!

From the ends of the earth,
    I cry to you for help
    when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,

for you are my safe refuge,
    a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.

Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
    safe beneath the shelter of your wings! 

Psalm 61:1-4

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
    he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.

He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.

Psalm 23-1-4

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