This is part 3 in my series of Christian Women’s Guide to Encouragement and Confrontation
Issue: Death of a Child
Description: Counseling a woman after the death of her child.
Overview: No mother should ever have to outlive her child. Death is painful, especially when it is close to home. The death of a spouse is hard, but they have lived an abundant life. They have had the opportunity to experience the gift of life. The death of a child not only feels like a loss of life, but it can feel like she’s been cheated out of the chance to experience life with her child. A woman who has lost a child has lost something that is not easily replaced. Widows can remarry, but you only have one chance, with that one child. A child is something that woman created, a masterpiece of flesh and bone, a gift of life entrusted to her keeping by a gracious God. To lose that gift, can feel like being robbed.
– Do allow her to grieve. Let her cry on your shoulder and express her grief.
– Do try to understand her pain and loss.
– Do share the Word of God with her; show her that there is hope in this world.
– Don’t downplay her grief. It is real and it is tangible.
– Don’t exclude her from functions where children will be present. It is important that she copes with the loss. It is also important for her to feel accepted and not ostricized.
– Don’t make her feel, or allow her to feel that the death was her fault. Most moms feel that it is their responsibility to keep her children safe at all times.
– Don’t allow her to keep a shrine of the child. This is an unhealthy attachment to a dead person.
– If she has other children, don’t allow her to become obsessed with over protecting them. This too, is unhealthy.
Verses of Reference:
*Ephesians 1:11- All things, including death, works out for the best of those involved, God is in control.
*Deuteronomy 31:7-8- God promises to be with those whom He gives a difficult trial.
*Romans 14:8- Life and death are in the Lord’s hands. He is a gracious and fair God and doesn’t do anything without reason.
*Psalm 115:16- The death of God’s children is precious to Him. He loved them far more than we could have imagined, and His grief is much deeper.
Have her write a letter to God. Have her write down all her sorrows and hopes for her child. Give her the above passages and have her write down what she believes the writer is saying. Have her search out her own passages of scripture and write an application for each one. If she has other children, have her sit down with them and allow for a sharing of grief and questions. It is important for her to be open and willing to learn throughout the entire process. Have her pray for strength, godly attitudes, and the ability to move on.
May God bless you as you help others.