Below are some additional interactions on the article: Grief and Guilt. Read it first.
The reality is that this may be too much for you to handle. The grief that you are experiencing over the death of your mom or dad may seem insurmountable. Instead of trying to handle it all on your own or look for help from friends who may be over their head, have the courage to seek out help from people who are experienced and educated. One resource is through your youth leaders and chaplains. Other parents and trusted adults can help, too. Perhaps your base has grief counselors. They can help you or connect you with someone who is equipped to guide you. Another can be found though the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
For more information go to this website.
T.A.P.S. (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) has an article about Military children and Grief. In order to facilitate communication between you and your family, I want you to read this article with a member of your family, perhaps a sibling or even a grandparent, and discuss how this fits into your situation. You can read it separately if you need time to process but the point is to talk with one another about this article and your present situation. Pick out things you liked or didn’t like. What described you? What has nothing to do with your personal story? To take it one step further, Read Psalm 13 and 1 Corinthians 1:3–5 or another verse that has stuck out to you along with this article. Consider how your faith in God impacts you and how you process your grief.
For some insight into how your actions are affecting your ability to grieve, take a look at this quiz. After you have taken the quiz, come up with at least one way for each of the 5 sections that you can improve your lifestyle habits or relieve a pressure, then talk with your family about this. If you need, talk to a youth leader or chaplain first to help you figure out how to talk to your family about your needs and struggles with grief. Remember, “trust in the Lord forever; he will always protect us” Is. 26:4
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18—This passage describes what will happen at the end of days. How God will call all of his believers, living and dead, to him, and we will be reunited with our loved ones and our Lord!
Psalm 31:9–10—A cry for relief from the pain of grief and for God’s shelter in times of sorrow.
Revelation 21:4—Another promise for the end of days, how Jesus will restore our hearts through his power and love.
Nahum 1:7—The Lord protects His people and takes care of them.
Matthew 5:4—Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them!
Psalm 147:3—He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds.
Isaiah 26:3–4—A call to have faith and confidence in the power, purpose, and peace of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 1:3–5—This zooms the lens out from our personal situation. It reminds us that life will continue and we can in turn help others experience the love of Christ.
Small group guide:
Large group guide:
- Rewrite Psalm 13 in a journal or notebook. Make the words or phrases that are important to you bigger, give them shapes and colors. Use drawing, writing, etc to express the parts of the psalm that describe your soul right now and spend some time articulating those feelings to God.
- Look at the Supporting Scripture section and choose one to memorize this week. Put it by your bed, fridge, locker, or somewhere you will see it multiple times a day. Tell a family member or close friend why you chose that verse and what you need to understand about Jesus Christ’s presence in your life.
- Write your own psalm, poem, or prayer and try including the 3 components from Psalm 13—That God is present in your life, that your emotions (no matter how conflicting or extreme) are real, and that his love is constant and all encompassing. If words won’t come to you at this time, find another way to communicate these things to God like drawing, dancing, making a video, whatever way you find easiest to talk to Jesus.
Horatio Spafford was a man well known around Chicago in the 1860’s. He was a successful businessman with a wife and children. In fact, he bought a large amount of property along Lake Michigan while he held the position of senior partner in a large and thriving law firm.
Success and happiness seemed to be a constant in Horatio’s life until the beginning of 1871 when a series of tragedies struck him and his family. His son, age 4, died of pneumonia. Then in 1871 the Great Chicago Fire struck and his property along the lake shore was destroyed, making his investment a total loss.
While he dealt with the fallout of his business failures, he sent his family to England to begin a vacation without him. On the journey across the Atlantic, the ship carrying his wife and 4 daughters sunk, killing the 226 passengers including all of his children. His wife alone reached safety. More tragedy came into their lives but in the midst of it all came a strong and lasting statement of Horatio Spafford’s faith in the Lord.
As he crossed from America to Britain to join his wife, taking the same passage as the one which claimed his remaining children’s lives, Horatio composed a hymn that has connected with the souls of people for over a hundred years, as in the midst of his deepest anguish and sorrow he found the perfect peace of the Lord. Perhaps you have heard it before, perhaps it is new. Either way, as you listen, allow the presence and love of God pour over you and listen to what he speaks into your heart. The lyrics are:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
(Refrain:) It is well (it is well),
with my soul (with my soul),
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pain shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.