Grief & Hope



Light for the Way devotional series

We invite you to take a peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.

By Chaplain Jenny Schroedel, Optage Hospice

“But we do not want you to be uninformed … about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” —1 Thessalonians 4:13, ESV

All of us experience loss in this lifetime, and some are grieving at this very moment. The residents we serve may also experience accumulating losses: the loss of a home, the loss of a spouse, the loss of capacities. This is life in the “Shadowlands” as Christian author C.S. Lewis describes it – life on this shadowy earth where we reckon with pain in our own lives and in those around us.

When the Apostle Paul exhorts Christians to grieve with hope, he is not saying that faith erases the sadness. If anything, this Scripture passage offers us permission to not only grieve fully, but also to grieve differently from those who have no faith.

What does it mean to “grieve with hope”?

  1. We Can Grieve. Sometimes there is a push within Christianity to rush past the sadness to the joy of the resurrection. But even Jesus wept over the death of his friend Lazarus. We can give ourselves time to absorb and express the pain we feel.
  2. We Can Ask for Help. There are people around you who are ready to support you: you can talk to a co-worker, your campus pastor or a counselor. One of the most hopeful things we can do is reach out, trusting the good will of those who care for us.
  3. Death Is Not the End. For Christians, death – painful as it is – is not the final word. Death is the doorway through which we enter eternal life. We grieve, but we also recognize that for those of faith, on the other side, there is only life — and more life still.


Optage Hospice Chaplain Jenny Schroedel facilitates grief groups across PHS sites and in the larger community. She lived in Hawaii for a decade, before returning home to Minnesota. In Hawaii she worked as Director of Bereavement Services and helped found Hospice of Kona’s Maluihi Grief Center. Jenny is also an author, most recently of “Naming The Child: Hope-filled Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death.”

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

Find more in the Light for the Way series:

Love one another
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series



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