When Leaders Grieve
I was talking to one of my #prophetic mentees the other day about the GRIEF PROCESS and how it affects leaders. It was interesting to hear her perspective:
“Leaders never really get the chance to grieve in private, it’s always public.”
The more I thought about that, the more I agreed.
In March 2015 my paternal grandmother Eleanor Holmes Nash died at the age of 101. In January 2016 her son, my dad, Dewayne Holmes Sr. died at the age of 67.
I was honored to deliver both Eulogies never imagining they’d come so close together. Some thought, though I delivered my grandmother’s I may not want to deliver my father’s. They thought it might be “too much” But what I knew is that just like he asked me to deliver my grandmother’s he would want the same for himself.
Two weeks later, I was ready to go through my own grief process and I knew as a multi-faceted leader, I had to be careful and willing to walk through whatever I needed to walk through to guarantee healing.
I thank God that at that same time, I was enrolled in my first unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) for Chaplaincy which helped me tremendously sort through my feelings as I reflected on self via our assignments.
I also thank God for the spectacular prayer warriors assigned to me who didn’t fall off the wall or walk away when they were needed most.
Prayer makes a difference!
I was also happy to make frequent trips back to #Omaha and to have photos and videos that I could watch while reflecting on the memories of my loved ones that also served as therapy for my mind, spirit and soul.
Yet, along the way, if I were to attempt to lend a helping hand of advice for those who have 5-fold Ministry Leaders who are walking through the process of grief, here’s how I would put it:
WHEN GRIEF HITS YOUR PULPIT
When Preachers and Pastors Grieve Give them time to breathe Give them time to cleave Give them permission to cry, To talk, To be silent, To ponder To slow down To speed up To be themselves without questioning “WHY?” Give them time to LEAD by YOU reflecting on THEIR actions and results from the past that can help your future. Give them your loyalty, your love and your leadership in doing while not allowing the balls they normally carry to be dropped. Give them your commitment to guard them even in their humanity without judging their words and lack-there-of Give them time to hurt. Give them time to heal. Give them time to hope. Give them the courtesy to be honest and the kindness to help. Give them time to reflect on their loss without losing you and your attention simply because offense has outweighed your discernment to see what is NOT being said.
Give them the same GRACE you want extended to YOU when crisis hits your home!