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From the Rev: Grieving Our Losses

Apr 07, 2013
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Rapids team members watch balloons float away after the service.

A few months ago, the Colorado Rapids team and organization was shaken terribly. The loss of one of our children at a tender and young age – made all close to the family pause and think – about life, about death, about cherishing what we have been given, and more. It was not the first loss in the history of the organization, but perhaps was the most difficult in my time and experience as the club chaplain.

The service that was held at the stadium was the first of its kind – a section of the stadium transformed so that this group, this family could gather and grieve. In the world of professional sport we are rarely confronted with the ultimate finality of death. Sure, there are careers that come to an end and dreams that are dashed in a moment in arenas of competition, but rarely is a death part of the fabric of an organization as young as the Colorado Rapids.

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It is in these moments, when chaplains are perhaps needed most – to offer comfort, to offer a peaceful presence, to listen, to mourn and grieve with those suffering. I am thankful for the many years of serving as a hospice chaplain and in pastoral care. It is imperative for chaplains to be trained in being sensitive and skilled in moments of grief and loss. For many that undertake chaplaincy there is lack of the education and development – even in many seminary-level courses. The investment in understanding grief and loss is important as many with whom we work have these critical moments in life.

So, if I could take just a moment and say a word of thanks – some of you have supported CrossTraining or even myself as an individual – whether by helping make a connection, or financially supporting the ministry, or offering another space for growth and development through education or some resource. Some of you have simply prayed for us  chaplains for the moments when we are confronted with grief and loss, that we would be wonderful representatives of God to the people we serve. Thank you for that investment. There may be many who never know and never fully appreciate and understand how you have indirectly helped them but helping us, but we (chaplains) thank you. And we pray that God blesses you in the moments when you, too, may have to grieve a great loss.

Blessings,

Rev. Brad Kenney

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