Bringing the Text to Life

Debriefing Grief 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27

Debriefing Grief

Professional grief counselors push us to talk openly about loss and to vent frustration, but perhaps the grieving need solitude and reflection - not endless self-analysis.

David the Hebrew.

Demeter the Greek.

Two ancient names that are linked by death. Both David and Demeter were dragged down by the shocking and sudden loss of loved ones.

David was taking a breather in the city of Ziklag when a raggedy refugee from Saul's camp brought David the news that both King Saul and his son Jonathan had died in battle. David was stunned and then angered by this report, especially by the revelation that this messenger was also the executioner who had put Saul out of his misery with a final, fatal blow.

If a modern-day grief counselor had been present at the scene, David would have been advised to feel it and heal it. Instead, David ordered a soldier to strike down the bloodstained bearer of bad news, which the soldier did.

Little did David know that the jaunty messenger was telling him a lie. Saul, in fact, had fallen on his own sword.

Demeter? Her story is different, but the grief is just as intense. In Greek mythology, this goddess of grain hooks up with Zeus...

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