“Good Grief!” (Charlie Brown) This was a familiar expression in the Peanuts comic strip when Charlie expressed dismay. A pastor that I knew, Granger Westberg, wrote a best-selling little book, titled, Good Grief, in which he, as a counsellor, explained the steps of grief. Perhaps you can identify…depression, loneliness, guilt, hostility, resentment. But there is hope. Given time and a nurturing of faith, things get better. More good news! The book is still in print. ;-) Jack
FROM LBP: Our thoughts and prayers are with you today.====JACK: Things get better with the words from friends...and their presence, too.
FROM TARMART REV: Over the weekend, your son, Dave's post popped up on Facebook along with your name (as you. I was able to read his kind tribute to his mother and your wife, Mary. From his post I was then able to read of her fall and eventual passing. My sincere condolences Jack and a promise my prayers and thoughts will be with you at her memorial service a Holy Spirit Lutheran church this morning. Now you are at the receiving end of all the expressions of love and condolences, prayers, related Scriptures of hope and comfort you have so faithfully shared with others over the countless years of being a pastoral presence in their lives at such at time as this. It caused me to even more appreciate your words this morning as you search out the "good news" in the midst of grief and now the temporary separation of being one in spirit and love all these years you've experienced life together.====JACK: It feels strange to be on the "receiving" end. As a pastor, you know that we are frequenting on the "giving" end I'm thankful to know that people care.
FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: et cum spirito tuo in these difficult days, Jack... ====JACK: It's been a while since I took Latin, but I think the quote begins with the words, "Dominus vobiscum" (the Lord be with you), followed by "et cum spirito tuo" (and with your spirit). Thoughout this experience the Lord has made his presence know through many people and in many ways. Thank you for being part of that.====HT: exactly right on the Latin--the tuo being singula
There was an old joke that the Pope's telephone number was Et cum spirit 2 2 oh
FROM DR JUDY: There are no words... so you remain in my virtual hug, and in my prayers. ====JACK: Snoopy was known for giving hugs, too.
FROM KS: I love Charlie Brown….one of my favorite comic books growing up….had every one of his books till a house fire wiped out several of them. I said “Good Grief” many times during that period.====JACK: "Rats" is another of Charlie's expression, and it fits this situation, too.
FROM AW IN ILL: Granger was a good friend of mine and especially Judy"s family. He is the father of the modern hospital chaplain movement. at the present time, by daughter Beth, a student at Gettysburg Sem, is in a required program of 11 weeks study and ministry in a hospital training program. It is a very full ...with hardly a moment to yourself program.====JACK: It is good when people care enough to stop by and visit the sick and bereaved, but it is also good when people are trained in ways to make the visit even more effective.
FROM QUILTING CAROL IN RICE LAKE: I know you and your family are surrounded by loved ones and friends today. Please know that there are many others who are not with you in person who are wrapping you in their thoughts and prayers today. God knows our pain when parting with someone very dear to us, but He also is quietly there holding our hands and hearts as we grieve.
Yes, grief comes in many forms – good, bad or indifferent, but as you said thankfully there is hope. Hope in the resurrection, hope in our faith, love shared by others and God’s never ending love for all of us.====JACK: During Communion the worshipers kept singing, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (the words of the thief on the cross). It was spiritually haunting. The reassuring words to that request (not part of the hymn) were, "Today, you will be with me in Paradise." Thanks for your care and support.
FROM JT IN MILWAUKEE: Yes, Granger Westberg's book is helpful. I learned to know Granger while taking training under his direction at Augstana Hospital in Chicago. Jack - in your good grief time I hope you could share more about Mary. Sorry I never met her; so whatever you wish to share I'd be glad to know more about her life - Christian, for sure.====JACK: In today's world, you, as a pastor, would probably not date someone from your own congregation. But, 60 years ago it was a different story. It was not her desire to become a pastor's wife. She was a wife in the ordinary sense of the word. These words from Proverbs 31 were quoted at her funeral..."A good wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her. She does him good all the days of her life. She works with willing hands. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out to the needy. She opens her mouth with wisdom. She does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed. Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."