Navigating Grief and Faith: Insights from Reverend Daryl Lavway

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Grief and Faith after miscarriage or stillbirth

Grief is a deeply personal journey, and when it comes to coping with the loss of a pregnancy or infant, it can be an exceptionally challenging and isolating experience. Healthcare providers (and others) who undergo this kind of loss often find themselves receiving well-intentioned but unhelpful comments like "It was God's will," or "God needed another angel." These comments can sometimes hinder the grieving process rather than offer comfort.

In this blog post, we explore valuable insights from Episode 33, of the Pause to Remember Podcast, featuring Reverend Daryl Lavway, discussing the complexities of grief and faith.

Reverend Lavway's extensive background in ministry and his experience as a chaplain in a Level 1, academic, medical center make him a valuable resource for those grappling with grief. His diverse experiences provide unique perspectives on faith and healing.

Here are five key points for someone grieving after pregnancy or infant loss:

1. Unhelpful Religious Comments:

  • Reverend Daryl Lavway begins by addressing the weight of unhelpful religious comments that grieving individuals often encounter.
  • Comments like "It was God's will,” or "God needed another angel,” can be distressing. He suggests responding with a simple question, "How do you know?" This helps challenge these comments and encourages thoughtful reflection.

2. The Complex Relationship Between Religion and Grief:

  • Religion and faith can sometimes act as barriers to acknowledging the profound pain associated with losing a baby.
  • Reverend Lavway acknowledges this challenge and emphasizes the need for an open conversation about faith and grief.

3. God Grieves with Us:

  • Reverend Lavway shares a poignant story from his early ministry days, highlighting the idea that God grieves with those who suffer.
  • This concept challenges the notion that loss is part of a divine plan.

4. Using Faith as a Comforting Tool:

  • When it comes to using faith as a tool to cope with grief, Reverend Lavway advises individuals to trust their gut and embrace their unique grieving process.
  • Faith can be a source of comfort, but it's essential to find a path that feels right for you.

 5. Avoiding Isolation and Seeking Trustworthy Support:

  • Grief can be an incredibly isolating experience. However, not all religious communities are safe spaces for grieving individuals.
  • Reverend Lavway emphasizes the significance of finding trustworthy individuals or communities that provide genuine support during the grieving process.

In conclusion, grief is a complex journey, and faith can play a significant role in navigating it. Reverend Daryl Lavway's insights offer a fresh perspective on how to approach religious comments, embrace your faith, and seek meaningful support. Whether questioning religious remarks or seeking help from a chaplain or trusted friend, remember that your grieving process is unique. Trust your instincts and find a safe space to heal while honoring the memory of your baby.

To listen to the full conversation between Rev. Lavway and Amy Pelkey, CRNA, find the Pause to Remember Podcast, Episode 33 on the website, Apple, Spotify, or Google.

Feeling lost, overwhelmed, or alone?

Talk to Amy for 20 minutes by scheduling a Zoom call with her.


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