Grieving has never been easy in our culture, and Covid made it more difficult. Now, even as we move into a post pandemic lives, there are still people in our communities who have been left alone with the pain of loss over the death of someone they loved. Their plans for funerals, for celebrations of the life of the departed with family and friends, were put off again and again, eventually replaced by something smaller or, sometimes, by nothing at all. And if their loved one died from Covid, at least in the early days of the pandemic, there was additional stigma in some family and social circles that brought shame and further separation. The rituals that are a part of our funerals, our memorial services, our gatherings of family and friends, are so important to the grieving process. They are the first steps toward healing and have been a part of faith communities and families for centuries. They help the griever make sense out of the death of a loved one as they begin to reshape their own lives. The ministry of Walking the Mourner’s Path serves those who are struggling with grief. In one and half hour workshops spread over eight consecutive weeks, participants explore the uncharted territory of their grief with others in similar situations, all guided by trained grief facilitators. Research has shown that participants in groups with a specific beginning and end, and with an appropriate curriculum, heal from their grief more quickly than open-ended groups without an established course. In these small-group settings, God’s love and compassion are present.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as Program Director of this amazing program. Here you will find the most current news about the program and trainings. Plus a few thoughts to help you minister to those who grieve in your faith communities. Blessings.