Christian Support: 5 Ways You Can Help Someone Who’s Lost a Parent

by | Jan 2, 2024 | Faith

Grief woman
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In the intricate tapestry of life, the loss of a parent is a profound and heart-wrenching chapter. As I write this, it has been 12 days since my father-in-law’s sudden passing. My husband is not left to face the remainder of his life without either one of his parents. I personally cannot relate because my parents are both living and that makes it difficult to fully comprehend his pain. For those facing this journey of grief, compassionate support from friends and loved ones is akin to a soothing balm for the soul. For those standing beside the broken-hearted, it’s easy to feel helpless. In the realm of Christian love and understanding, there are several ways we can extend our arms to provide solace and strength during such trying times.

1. Christian Presence and Comfort:
In the midst of grief, the gift of presence often outweighs any material offering. As Christians, we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Be there for your grieving friend in a tangible way – attend the funeral, share a meal, or simply sit quietly with them. In the Book of Romans (12:15), we are reminded to “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Your presence becomes a testament to the love of Christ, a silent assurance that they are not walking this path alone. If you’re inclined to share, here is a link to an interview on grief by author Max Lucado, that may supply peace to your loved one.

Grief woman ii
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2. The Strength of Prayer in Grief:
Prayer is a powerful conduit of comfort and strength. Integrate your prayers into your support by consistently lifting up the grieving individual and their family. Offer to pray with them or share comforting scriptures that bring hope in times of despair. Psalm 34:18 assures us, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Remind your friend of this promise and encourage them to seek solace in the arms of our compassionate Savior. Consider purchasing them a book that may speak to their pain.

3. Christian Listening Skills in Grief
Often, the grieving soul needs a compassionate ear more than well-intentioned words. Listen without judgment or the need to provide solutions. Jesus himself was a compassionate listener, and we can emulate His grace by allowing our grieving friend to express their emotions freely. In James 1:19, we are reminded, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” Validate their feelings, offer a shoulder to lean on, and let the healing process unfold in its own time. GriefShare is a national organization that helps people of all ages in a group setting navigate the grieving process. Sometimes being in the company of people who truly understand can be beneficial.

Grief support
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4. Encourage Healing through Your Christian Faith:
In times of loss, faith becomes an anchor that steadies the ship of a grieving heart. Share uplifting scriptures and stories that underscore the promise of eternal life and the hope found in Christ. Remind your friend that their parent’s legacy lives on in the memories and values instilled in them. Encourage attendance at church services or support groups where they can find a community of believers who understand the unique journey of grieving a parent. Hebrews 11:1 reminds us, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Help your friend cultivate this assurance in their heart.

Grief photos
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5. Be Mindful of Practical Needs:
Grieving often leaves individuals overwhelmed with emotional fatigue, making even the simplest tasks seem daunting. As a supportive friend, step in to offer practical assistance. Help with daily chores, provide meals, or assist in organizing memorial services. This practical support allows your friend to focus on their emotional healing. In Galatians 6:2, we are encouraged to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” By lightening their load, you embody Christ’s love in a tangible way. One organization, Lasagna Love, brings hope to those in despair by delivering a free lasagna meal. You can read more about their mission here and sign your friend up for a meal.

Deliver a meal
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In conclusion, supporting someone who has lost a parent involves a delicate blend of empathy, prayer, and practical assistance. As Christians, we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ, offering love and solace to those navigating the intricate journey of grief. By following these five important tips, you can provide a comforting presence that reflects the boundless love of our Savior and the assurance of eternal hope. May your compassionate efforts bring healing and peace to the grieving hearts you embrace.

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