DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

The Grieving of a Life Well Lived

Written by: on February 13, 2014

This past week a good friend of Naomi and I lost their mom to cancer.  In preparation to go to Costa Rica for a wedding, she wanted to have some upper chest issues looked at by her family Dr..  From that first appointment, hospitalization and diagnosis till today, it has been less than a month.  As a tribute to Lauren Charles and her dear family we honor her earthly life, as a life well lived before God and others.  Throughout this past month, her daughter Nicole used facebook  to celebrate, lament and grieve a life well lived.  The following is a post Nicole placed on facebook this past week.

From my beginning to her end on this earth, she honestly & truly was my biggest cheerleader….I love you mom, it’s going to be so hard without you. You are so, very missed…

This past week while reading selected articles by Stephen Garner I was struck by his concept that emerging technologies are convergent spaces where lament, grief and formation can be shared with broader communities for our own growth as well as the growth of others.  While reading, paralleled with the loss of our good friend’s mom, I was able to observe Garner’s key points in word and life.  The following are two keys which emerged during this time.

2 Keys to Healthy Lament

A Space For Healing…  When a great loss has occurred  in our lives, space is important.  With great loss, comes pain, and in that place it’s difficult to verbalize emotions and even thoughts.  New social media platforms provide space where one can communicate thoughts and feelings, yet not have to be in proximity to those who will read.  For all who’ve gone through loss, having to explain the same thing over again 100 times, is even more draining to the soul on top of the loss.  Social media allows the one who is grieving to express their highs and lows, and allows the freedom for those who read, to choose engagement or silence.

A Platform For Community…  Grief, pain and healing has classically been reserved for close family and friends.  Only a select few could or would be invited into the inner circles of lament and healing.  Though this is still physically true, social media has created a space where a greater community can take part in the celebration, remembrance and healing from the loss of a loved one.  This greater community may now take place throughout the duration of the grieving process and not just on the day of the funeral.  Embedded in this concept a new reality is given to the Acts 2 community.  They were together as one.  The following is an excerpt from Nicole’s facebook page and their greater grieving community.

Flowers and kind words from a new friend…totally unexpected, absolutely perfect & tear inducing…

This weekend we will attend the memorial service of  Lauren Charles, along with her family, friends and the greater community which has been part of the social space lament over this past month.

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Richard Rhoads

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