comfort grieving

My father passed away four weeks ago. This week, my brother, sister-in-law, and I are getting Mom settled in a memory care facility close to my brother’s place. Now, in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s, Mom needs more help than she can get at home.

It’s been a difficult month.

No human can fix this. Or change the circumstances.

But even so, many have come around us in these days to help. And God has used their efforts to comfort, encourage, and strengthen us.

It’s amazing how God can take seemingly small things, simple gestures, and use them. Only God, through His people.

Only God.

As I reflect on these gifts of grace, tears flow again. Yes, there is grief. But there is also thanksgiving. Gratitude to God that in the midst of difficulty He sweetly cares for me, His child.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort… (2 Corinthians 1:3, ESV)

God has comforted me through His people. Even in the small things. Maybe especially in the small things.

Perhaps someone you know is grieving a loss. Here are a few of the “small things” you can do that meant so much to me.

6 Small Acts that Gave Me Comfort

  1. Contact – Whether you call, text, message, or send a card just let them know you care, that you are thinking of them. I’ve gotten scores of these and it’s made a difference.
  2. Remember – Extended family members and friends shared stories and told me how much Dad meant to them personally. He impacted lives. This happened in person, in cards, and even on social media, and every time it brought comfort and sometimes a smile.
  3. Show up – Whether at their door or at the services, your presence makes a difference. You don’t even have to say anything. Just being there is a comfort.
  4. Pray – Pray for them. And let them know you are praying for them – immediately and later on.
  5. Ask – It’s only happened a couple of times, but it was uniquely comforting. People who didn’t know my father asked me to tell them about him. And they listened.
  6. Listen – I know I just said that. But it’s important enough to repeat. Listen to them talk about their loved one, the plans, how they’re feeling. Talking is healing and you can listen.

I am not a counselor. And I don’t have a lot of experience with grief. But I do know what helped and is helping me. And I thought it might help someone you know.

By the way, one of the greatest sources of comfort is the assurance I have that Dad is with Jesus now. Death was just a doorway into a greater spiritual reality. (For more on this see “Holding onto Hope.”)

What helped you when you were grieving?

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