At RLN, we encourage churches to offer care and compassion to people experiencing grief, especially those who are often overlooked, the men and women hurting after reproductive loss.
In 1998 GriefShare, a video-based support group formed by Church Initiative was released to come alongside grieving individuals within the church and community. Today, over 20,000 churches are equipped with one or more Church Initiative ministry programs (griefshare.org). We are thankful for the men and women who tirelessly serve others by leading these groups and sharing their own losses for the healing of others.
Although GriefShare does not include specifics for reproductive loss, we can most definitely learn how to grieve and support others by their materials. I have found their book, written by Robert W. Kellemen, Ph.D., “God’s Healing for Life’s Losses: How to Find Hope When You’re Hurting,” a beneficial supplement to my resources, especially when teaching a biblical grieving process.
Dr. Kellemen fills eleven chapters with robust theology and practical application to grieving well. He begins his book with the verse John 16:33:
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Kellemen explains how to live abundantly with life’s losses in the context of God’s healing. He breaks down this verse to write in beautiful detail Jesus’ words about peace and taking heart in God’s promises. There is hope in Jesus.
On page 10, Dr. Kellemen includes a very helpful guide to “Biblical Sufferology,” laying out descriptions of how we grieve internally and externally, and process through stages of hurt and stages of healing. The remainder of the book is full of explanations of each concept depicted in this guide, offering grace-filled and truthful instructions for readers who are hurting and for those who are wanting to support others well.
I love books that include homework or reflections after each chapter, and this book delivers deep questions for the reader. As I read the book, I took the time to answer the questions, and the Lord revealed deeper healing to my past hurts while lovingly displaying recent losses I haven’t yet processed. God is so good.
As a griever and helper, I encourage you to consider this book for your collection. It has served both Tricia and me well as we develop curriculum and workshops to encourage others to find rest for their hurting souls in Christ and invite others to do the same. And never forget…
Jesus is on the move. He’s speaking to you now. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). (Kellemen, p 7).