This time last year (where the time has gone I’ll never know, mental!) I was about four weeks away from finishing and having in my dissertation (no I haven’t finished banging on about it yet!). As many of you might know my dissertation was about childhood and adolescent bereavement, and focused mainly on the introduction of a new resource I had written for youth workers to use with bereaved children and young people. Some of you will have heard me talk about this resource in depth at one of the presentation evenings I’ve done, but I know there are people who didn’t manage to get along to them and are interested in the topic. I’ve wanted to share some of my dissertation work in a public way for a while, and this coming week offers the perfect opportunity for doing just that, and I’ll tell you why.
The second part of my resource is a collection of session guides entitled “The Worst Week”. There are five session guides in total which move chronologically through Holy Week; starting at Palm Sunday and culminating in Easter Sunday. The reasons why the session guides are hinged on Holy Week are twofold. First, in the stories of Holy Week we see an overview of a grieving process, both from the perspective of those left behind and the person who is dying. But second, and probably more importantly, the stories of Holy Week show us quite simply that grieving is a Biblical principle. The shortest verse in the Bible (John 11:35) is “Jesus wept.” through the simple act of sharing in the emotion of a friend’s death, Jesus gave us the perfect example that grief is ok. We need to remember that Jesus taught “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4), God not only allows but expects us to grieve when we experience loss and we are taught that he is ready to comfort and support us when we do. This then is why I chose a group of stories that encapsulate God’s understanding of our grief as a foundation for approaching the subject in my resource.
So over the next week I will be sharing five blogs; Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday; each looking at different elements of grief that run through the stories of Holy Week. Obviously the posts will be predominantly about grief, but I hope there will be something that everybody can take from each day. There might be some video clips to watch (how exciting) and some original stories (even more exciting), that tie in with the aspect of grief for the day, so it won’t be a whole week of me waffing on. This is the first “blog series” I’ve attempted, so we’ll learn how it goes together. Good luck everybody, see you on the other diode.