It’s really hard to believe that it’s been eight years since that horrible day… 09.09.01… I will never forget that Tuesday: where I was, who I was with, and the feelings that were going through me while helplessly (at least it seemed that way) clued to the television. My ministry changed that day. Our pastor, our staff, and the parents of our church looked to me to help them understand, "how do you help children deal with grief and loss?"
Yesterday (September 10, 2009), one of my best friend’s father died. I’m in California this weekend, he’s in Tennessee… that makes me sad.
We talked this morning for a while. Like any good parent, his biggest concern was not for himself and his grief, but for the grief that his kids (2nd grade, 7th grade, 10th grade) were experiencing. As we talked I tried to share with him some of the things that I learned from an incredible mentor, Dr. Jeanine Bozeman, Professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. Bozeman passionately shared with her students her insights on death and dying. She helped us understand and prepare for ministry to those who experience loss. I’ve called on those insights many times over the years. Below you will find a Lifeway link to Dr. Bozeman’s article on children and grief. If you’ve not read it, read it today. It contains some of the best advice I’ve ever received. I know it will help you and your ministry at some point.
Finally, may our God bless Brad, Melanie, Connor, Mitchell, and Spencer in the days ahead as they deal with the loss of their Dad and Papa. You are all loved!
Children and Grief by Dr. Jeanine Bozeman.
Bottom Line: Kid’s Ministry isn’t just about parties and inflatables. What do you do to help kids and thier families in times of grief?