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Prayers – Learning #2 of 5 on to How to Help Others Grieve in Caring Ways

“You are in my thoughts and prayers.” Many of us, especially if we believe in God, often say that phrase when we attempt to comfort someone that has recently lost a loved one.

I’ve said it many times. And wrote it in cards to people. And, I hate to but have to confess that I didn’t always follow through. Life would get busy and I’d push aside my commitment to pray for the grieving family. Not on purpose, it just happened.

As a recent retiree, I have more time to dedicate to the important things in life, like prayer.  I take the time each morning to pray for all those I’ve committed to pray for before my feet hit the floor. Of course, I’m now not rushing off to work, so I’m not admonishing anyone, either! But for me, it is one of my favorite times of the day now. (And believe me, I’ve never been a morning person 😊).

Retirement affords us time for lots of little luxuries. I’m so grateful for this stage of life. It’s allowed me to have prayer time, and to author and publish the book that was in my heart for years, We Lost Her, the story of my six siblings and my grief journey after our Mom’s tragic death in 1970. 

In the book, we share how we each coped with her death and how we grew stronger together.  One of the learnings we share in the book on page 117 is about the importance of prayer:

“Pray for those grieving. So many people prayed for us, most of whom we didn’t even know were praying. People in our little St. Libory community, the nuns at Ruma, family and friends and people we didn’t know at all. Prayers are powerful gifts in the grieving process. Give them generously.”

As I interviewed people for the book I came to realize and am humbled by how many people prayed for our family. My Mom’s sister was a nun, Sister Benigna. She was stationed at the Ruma convent and I learned our family became their “special project” after Mom died. They prayed for us daily. My sister-in-law, Kathy, also learned of some very special prayers, described on page 78:

“Years later, Kathy learned about the priest who was given the duty to tell our Dad that Mom had died that night at Red Bud Catholic Hospital.  She was told that he never forgot that awful duty and the sad father of seven who lost his wife and youngest child so suddenly. He prayed for our family every day of his life. His prayers, and the prayers of so many other family members and friends, probably allowed us seven siblings to grow and be strong together. Those prayers mattered for us.” 

So, as you probably already guessed, your call to action this week, dear readers, is to pray.  In whatever form or format that is for you. Pray for those grieving. Pray they will find comfort and grow stronger through their journey. This simple prayer below for comfort is a place to start, or just pray in your own words.

Pray that if they need to, they will find help.  Help through a grief group or counseling, such as provided by Heartlinks Grief Center in Belleville, Illinois. Pray for those that work at helping others grieve. The staff at Heartlinks amazes me with their ability to provide compassion and care and help to those that need it so much. Your prayers are powerful gifts, give them generously.

Be Blessed,

Ellen

“We Grow Stronger Together”

Ellen Krohne, author of We Lost Her, available on Amazon.com

2 Replies to “Prayers – Learning #2 of 5 on to How to Help Others Grieve in Caring Ways”

  1. Thanks Ellen- a beautiful reminder that there is power in the intentionality holding someone up, of sending them thoughts, energy and love, through prayer. Sometimes words spoken directly aren’t helpful but remembering someone day in and day out through prayer is a powerful way to provide support. It can be the invisible, continuous supports that buoy spirits through the long days, months and years of dealing with loss. Post It notes are a great invention for helping with the gift of prayer. A simple name reminder can bring someone’s face to mind and open an opportunity for prayer. And praying for someone regularly keeps your heart turned up and ready like a field before planting. It makes you receptive, open and tuned in to their needs so when something concrete comes up, you can be right there to help.

    1. Diana,
      I LOVE the analogy to a field, prayer making ready for the planting. Thank you for your thoughts on prayer. You are a blessing.

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