Bereavement and Loss
Loss doesn’t just include the death of a loved one. Many people experience grief when losing health, jobs, purpose, infertility… Be mindful of people’s circumstances and watch to see if people maybe on a different loss journey.
- Offer prayers
- Meals and practical help, group and team leaders to coordinate support, or appoint another member to do so – this is to ensure someone is not overwhelmed with contact but has a single point of contact to go through.
- A listening and supportive ear
- Time and space for the person to grieve, knowing that the group/team is there, but not pressuring them to keep attendance at group or church during initial phases of grief
- Group or team leader informs collective or team pastor within 24 hours.
Collective/Location pastoral team
- Offer initial phone call to pray with family within the first three days
- Offer of a home visit or appointment to listen and pray with the person
- Inform pastor for care and growth, and let the admin team know so cards/flowers can be sent, and the details can be entered into DB so first anniversary can be acknowledged. Email info to firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
Staff pastors/Renewal pastoral team
- Offers listening service appointments for ongoing space for the person to talk
- Therapy service input for those experiencing complex or traumatic grief
- Minister to conduct the funeral.
- Feedback any actions and support offered back to group/team and collective/location teams
Further pastoral support
- Forget Thee Not group may be appropriate
- Certain cultural connect groups can offer specific advice and support around different grieving customs, e.g. Nigerian Connect.
Special attention and things to think about
- Special attention should be given when the death has come suddenly and unexpectedly, been violent, been self caused or has happened overseas (especially if children are involved).
- Any prayer offered should be given with consent and direction from the person receiving care, ask “would you like me to pray/how would you like me to pray?”.
- Do not force conversation, but let it come naturally. Fight the need to fill up every bit of silence, do not be afraid of periods of quiet.
- Do not be afraid to talk about the person who has died or the manner in which they died. It can be very helpful to simply talk about the person who has died in a natural and calm way.