<< PYM home

Faith and Practice

Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the

Religious Society of Friends

a guide to quaker discipline in the experience of pacific yearly meeting of the religious society of friends.
published 2001

Search provided by

Contents page

v: procedures

< previous page

next page >

Death in the Meeting

pym in context
quaker faith & spiritual practice
testimony & experience of friends
organization of the society
activities & organization of the YM
sources of quotations
index of sources
subject index

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Friends who have permitted us to use material for this Faith and Practice.



In bereavement, give yourself time to grieve. When others mourn, let your love embrace them. britain yearly meeting,

britain yearly meeting,
quaker faith & practice, 1995

 Grieving extends far beyond the initial turmoil of arranging for the Memorial and settling the affairs of the deceased, and opens many opportunities for spiritual growth. Some learn that they can feel angry at God, even deserted, and often through struggling with God have their faith strengthened. Many also experience the comfort of an omnipresent Spirit throughout their grief. The gifts of grief can teach important lessons about the richness of living.

 Friends should provide an atmosphere which enables those who have lost a loved one to grieve in a natural manner rather than suppressing it until a later time, which can be detrimental physically and emotionally. Many Friends find it helpful to keep a journal or tell their story again and again. Attentive listening is very important. Friends can also help by accepting all feelings expressed, by providing practical and spiritual support, and by encouraging the bereaved to nourish and care for themselves. This is an appropriate time for personal indulgences, but not for making major decisions.

  Intense grieving often lasts a year or more. Overseers should be alert to depression, sleeping problems, or changes in weight of persons grieving more than six months. They should be prepared to tell those grieving about helpful literature and community resources such as professional bereavement counselors and grief support groups.