Some things to read on Black Friday (especially if you know someone grieving.)

It’s black Friday in the US. And probably in other countries, too. I know that on Fridays, fewer of you read what I write, but it’s possible that you are avoiding shopping today and so are reading this. I’m going to point you to some things I’ve written elsewhere recently.


On Thursday, a post I wrote called “Seven suggestions for navigating grief during the holidays” was published on Parkview’s blog (where I chaplain). Here’s a brief excerpt:

Holidays are all about expectations. Seeing our favorite people, eating favorite foods, playing certain games, having the same arguments about who makes the best pie. When expectations are disrupted, whether because of a snowstorm that makes people late, or a death that changes the gathering forever, we are thrown off balance.

Snowstorms become stories. Permanent changes, however, are really hard. Some people want to maintain balance by cancelling everything. Other people want to ignore the loss and go on as normal.

There isn’t a right answer. But here are some suggestions that you can try. I pray one helps you to find a new balance in the first (or fifth) holiday season after the loss of a loved one.


“What people say when you ask what they wish others had done or said – A research update”

It’s a really long title. Here’s how the post starts:

In the research project, I asked respondents what they wish someone had said or done. In another post, I’ll unpack the categories of responses. However, as I was going through the 127 responses to this question, a handful stand out for their honest reflections on how diverse our experiences and responses are.


In the Acknowledgements to Giving a Life Meaning: How to Lead Funerals, Memorial Services, and Celebrations of Life, I wrote this:

“I’ve watched Rev. Clyde Wonders lead funerals for people who had no particular connection to a church. Clyde’s model of providing care for an unofficial parish of Hillsdale County has shaped my approach to care.”

Clyde died on Sunday.


Thanks for stopping by. I don’t have any specials for the day, but my books are always available.