For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die…. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance… (Ecclesiastes 3:1,2,4).
This week in our Mueller Community is a sad time as we grieve the loss of one of our beloved Year 7 students, Asher Mashonganyika. Spending time with a group of his peers, I was amazed at how much this young lad had touched so many of their lives. As they remembered Asher, they moved back and forth between crying and laughing. Even though each had different memories of Asher a common theme was that he was a young boy who was enthusiastic about life; cared for and was interested in his peers; and last but definitely not least had a deep love for and faith in his Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ.
As a parent, you might be wondering something like, “I hate seeing my child so upset. What can I do to fix him/her up? How can I help my child get over his/her grief?” Theresa Rando suggested that, grieving means allowing yourself to feel your feelings, think your thoughts, lament your loss and protest your pain. The single most important thing you can do is to provide a place of safety where your child can express his/her feelings – the good, the bad and even the seemingly ugly. Allow your child to feel his/her feelings, think his/her thoughts, lament his/her loss and protest any pain. Listen, not just with your ears, but your eyes, your heart, your soul, your arms – your whole self. Turn off or ignore devices – your child needs you. Not only has he/she lost a friend or peer, but the death of a child violates our expectations of the order of things in our world and can change a young person’s view of the world forever. It often raises lots of uncomfortable questions and leaves our children feeling vulnerable.
No feelings are bad or wrong. Please don’t jump in and say something like, “You mustn’t say or think that.” A child may well question God’s goodness in all this, and that’s entirely alright – God can handle it. Don’t feel you have to provide all the answers – it’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” Rather than trying to fix our children, better to support and assist them.
Next week, we’ll look at questions that some of our students are asking during this difficult time.