Grieving Parents

Welcome May 30, 2011
If you are a parent who has lost a child, someone who is in the depths of grief or someone learning how to live the "new normal," I hope that the following will be of some help.
When the Waters are Deep May 30, 2011
Howard Edington, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Orlando, FL preached this sermon after his twenty-two year old son John David died after accidentally driving his car into a tree during a rainstorm.
A Random Act of Violence May 9, 2011
This article is about how a church in Illinois is healing following the murder of their pastor during a Sunday service. There are interviews with the murdered pastor's wife, the worship pastor and the minister of pastoral care.
Where the Children Can Dance May 2, 2011
Philip Turner, a former dean of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale wrote the following meditation and read it at his son, Brendan's funeral. Brendan, was delivered after his death, with spina bifida, a cleft palate, and club feet.
Anne Elizabeth Kuzee March 18, 2011
Anne Kuzee died of cancer when she was thirteen. Jack Roeda, her pastor, responded first by acknowledging the abyss of despair and unbelief that could surround the moment. Like biblical lament, he does not soften despair with sentimentality, but also does not let despair be the final word.
Alex's Death March 9, 2011
William Sloane Coffin preached this sermon less than two weeks after his son drove his car into Boston Harbour.
When I Endure Grief February 14, 2011
This is an excerpt from Lloyd John Ogilve's book "Praying Through the Tough Times."
Casey William Alley January 20, 2011
The following is Craig Barnes's funeral sermon for Casey William Alley, a three-week old baby boy.
Giving Birth to Grief January 18, 2011
"Like a mother's pangs, the death of a child brings painful contractions and release." Jack Rehill is a pastor in Pennsylvania and this is his story of the last days of his son's life.


If you are a parent who has lost a child I hope that the following will be of some help. I can understand a little bit of your pain. Our twenty-three year old son died in April 2004 suddenly. We did not get a chance to say good-bye. He is in heaven. The pain is brutal, isn't it? I wish I could say it is going to get easier in the near future. My family was fortunate to have a visit the week after our son's death, from a Christian couple who lost their firstborn, also a twenty-three year old, twelve years ago. They gave us some marvelous counsel, which I pass on to you with the hope that it might be of help in the future. I only wish I had followed the counsel more diligently.

Watch your health. You may see negative changes, expected changes, experience physical things, which you may never have experienced before. Monitor your diet. Seek medical attention frequently. My wife, Pauline and I each see a doctor every six weeks. I regret I did not do this much earlier.

Secondly, learn to pamper yourself. You will become less focused, more vulnerable, physically weak...learn to pamper yourself. Learn to say "no", lighten your load, learn to accept that you are "just not up to it" as much as you used to be.

Thirdly, learn to accept help. Your may find it is hard. The Lord Jesus said "it is more blessed to give than to receive". The catch 22 is that no one can give until someone has the grace and humility to receive. Sometimes the most unexpected people will step forward and ask to help. I talked just yesterday to a lady who lost her adult son four months ago. Each day a different lady from her church drops in about 10 o'clock, makes her lunch and leaves at 2 o'clock. They simply listen, pray and "are there".

My wife and I are learning to say "yes" more readily to people's offers of help than we ever did before our son died. Learn to take shortcuts. Don't make as many commitments.

You will probably grieve much differently as a couple. One of you might slowly withdraw and the other becomes overloaded with busyness. In our situation, I cry daily; my wife cannot cry. My wife can no longer enjoy large group interactions. She cannot stand chitchat, small talk. I find personal aloneness more enjoyable. I don't think as much about the future as I formerly did. You are definitely going to change permanently. The decision you have to make ever so gradually is, do you want the change to be for the better or the worse. Since our son died, I have met numerous people who have lost children; some as far back as thirty-five years ago. Some are sweet, at peace, wonderful, gracious and tender. Some are empty, bitter and angry. Some of the saints I have gotten to know who have lost children are a continual blessing and others I have met made me recoil. I pray the former for you both.

This may sound as simple as motherhood and apple pie but your only hope is the Lord. Nothing else will help you to survive the way you want to.

Yours in the Lord Jesus,

Norm Beange