Brad attended a funeral for an old friend of his in Iowa a few weeks ago. The gentleman who died did not hold a prestigious job.
By openly speaking about your loss and your feelings, you minister to others and give them the opportunity to minister to you.
He wasn’t fabulously wealthy. He was simply one of those exceptional people who touch so many lives that his memorial was held in a large public venue to accommodate the community of mourners. People came from all points to pay their respects. To grieve. To comfort. And, to be comforted.
One thing I’ve noticed in working with people is that some always have an answer, even when it is clear they don’t know what they’re talking about. They’ve never become comfortable with saying, “I don’t know.”
We love to give answers. Sometimes we better serve others and ourselves when we are willing to say, “I don’t know.”
We all want answers because we hate ambiguity. We all want answers because answers give us a sense of control. When they are incomplete, or rooted in beliefs, not facts, answers can turn a good situation bad, and make a bad situation worse.
We do ourselves and those around us a tremendous favor when we become willing to say, “I don’t know,” instead of jumping to conclusions or insisting that we have an answer when at best we have only some of the facts or even, only our firmly held beliefs. Continue reading
I’ve been to a lot of funerals and visitations in the past few years, not as one who has come to pay respects, but as part of the bereaved family. As such, I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of statements of support. I’ve also watched some people struggle to know what to say.
Comforting words come from the heart to speak honestly about the death that has occurred and the feelings of the bereaved.
When it’s our turn to pay our respects at a visitation or funeral, we want our words to bring comfort. We want to be known as someone who understands.
Choosing the right words to say is a good first step. Knowing we have the right words gives us the courage to speak with compassion. When we pair those two things, our genuine concern for the person we’re speaking to shines through, and our words give comfort and we are remembered for it. Continue reading