Grief & Bereavement - Billy Graham

Grief – an intense emotional suffering caused by personal loss

  1. Grief involves acute sorrow, deep sadness, suffering, pain, and anguish.

Bereavement – the grief that follows the death of a loved one.

  1. This person will often feel that his/her experience is unique, that no one has ever endured such a loss or suffered as he/she is suffering.

There are cycles of healing to the pattern of grief, which permit the sorrowing person to recover in due time.

-For some, however, complete recover never comes.

  1. The initial shock of death: that intense emotional impact which sometimes leaves a person with a seeming paralysis.
  2. Emotional Release: a time characterized by weeping.
  3. Loneliness and depression: a sense of loss, often related to the degree of dependence on the deceased.
  4. Guilt: a feeling of guilt characterized by second-guessing: “I could have done more,” or, “I should have done something differently.”
  5. Anger, hostility: “Why did God do this to me?”
  6. Inertia: Listlessness: “I can’t get on with it,” or, “I couldn’t care less.”
  7. A gradual return to hope: “Life will go on.” “I will be able to cope.” “God will help me get over this.”
  8. The return to reality and normality: admitting the loss and adjusting to it.

Grief is not predictable nor can it be catalogued.

-Sometimes the stages of grief will seem to merge and overlap.

-The bereaved may feel release from a certain “phase” of suffering, only to have it return.

The Death of Children:

Death after such a short life span often produces feelings of guilt, melancholy, and a lot of questions.

-The following can be helpful:

  1. Though we cannot know why the child died, we do know that children are especially precious to God.
    1. Referring to children, Jesus said, “Of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14).
  2. If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and trust in Him as our Lord and Savior, we have the blessed hope of seeing our loved one again.
    1. When King David’s child was taken from him in death, he said, “Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me?”
      (2 Samuel 12:23)


“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain…For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:21, 23).

“Blessed be the God and Father of our lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, no sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

Psalm 23:4-6