coping with grief

3 Nov

As I was reading John 20 recently it struck me once again what a grief filled experience Jesus’ death was for His close friend Mary Magdalene.  Her experience rings so true to us.  A friend whom she’d loved and shared her life with for the last 3 years was gone.  And if that wasn’t bad enough not only had she lost a friend but when she went to grieve at his tomb she thought someone had stolen the body.  Without knowing where Jesus body was she couldn’t continue to grieve.  Could you imagine her pain?  Helpless, afraid and unable to process her loss!  Mary’s grief would soon turn to joy as the man who she thought was the gardener turned out to to  actually Jesus risen from the dead!  Yet, as we sit with her in her grief many of us know the pain of her loss.

At times like this when we or a friend has lost someone we love it’s often difficult to know what to think or feel or say or to know how to process what we are thinking and feeling.  With family and friends we’d love to share the comfort of the gospel but it’s very difficult to know when someone is grieving what to say or when to say it.

I remember preaching at my grandfather’s funeral about 4 years ago.  I’m not sure my Nana heard much of what I said that day.  Later I turned the talk into a letter and gave it to her a month after my grandfather’s death.  It led to her investigating Jesus for the first time in 70 years which was amazing.  I also gave my Nana two booklets a mont h after Pa’s death that she also found very helpful in coping through her grief.

At a Time Like This by Simon Manchester is a great little booklet those whose grief may have caused them to think about what is beyond this life. “At a Time Like This” tells of the only expert on life and death who has come back from the grave and told us what it’s like: Jesus Christ. This short booklet tells why we should come to Jesus for truth, meaning and real comfort. It also includes Christian answers to common questions about grief.

Coping with Grief by Mal McKissock and Dianne McKissock is a small, but powerful book that describes the grief process, what one can expect during one’s grief process.

It’s not a Christian book as such but has alot of very helpful things to say. The book describes normal grief, managing anniversaries and special dates, physical and emotional reactions, the funeral, differences in the way men and women handle grief, children and grief, sexuality and grief, consequences of bereavement, support teams, self-help, and community education.

It is a self-help manual that offers information that would be useful for those who are facing grief.

You can buy both at which has free worldwide postage!  You can also “At a Time Like This” from

I’ve also given both these booklets away to others who are grieving and to those helping someone else in times of grief and many have found them very helpful.

Luther Symons


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