Some members here in Pagan World are clergypersons, whether ordained by their specific path- or by other legal means. As a clergyperson, I have found that I have so many jobs, it is hard to sort out everything. I perform weddings- but I have to counsel a couple beforehand for my own peace of mind. I've performed funerals, tried to provide solace with and without words. Since I know nothing can ease the pain, I am often silent during their grief.

When tragedy comes knocking at our own doors, how do we respond? I lost a friend recently to Covid to find that not only did I need to help and counsel the family, but I also needed a way to handle my grief as well. In this, I shared with them how much the loss affected me. One thing I have learned is that clergypersons need to rely on each other. I felt, honestly like I could not reach out and talk to someone in my position. Loss of a family member, struggles within me, or just plain needing someone to listen. How can we cope and how can we better help one another deal with life and tragedies that surround us daily?


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  • A network of those also clergy may help. Regular retreats now and again to keep a healthy headspace. Treat yourself out when able on self dates. Have a hobby or three to apply yourself towards as a vent as well. Just a few simple suggestions for when things are building up and some reprieve is necessary. 

  • I usually talk to people and I ask them if they need me to put on my "Minister, clergy, or counsel" hat. Ministering is different from clergy as it requires action- like going to someone's side, advocating for them, or actively physically helping. Clergy falls under spiritual discussions and learning as well as teaching- and I consider this also wedding and funeral mode. Counsel is as implied, I offer advice when asked, otherwise, I listen. (And sometimes it is hard to keep my mouth shut- but until ASKED-I do my best not to advise) I joked that these hats are actually bags of holding (for the geeky amongst us who know what I mean). The smartest thing I did was seek therapy- and I don't tell my therapist my classified info, but I let her know when I have trouble dealing with situations.
    Mary makes my point- we do need a network.

  • Greetings Rev Eira.  First, my condolences on your loss.  We are clergy but we are also human beings.  Sometimes we need to be ourselves first and clergy second.  In this case, if I understand you, you are feeling the loss so much that you don't feel like you could be the clergy that the family needs.  I usually recommend another clergy person whom you trust that could provide the counselling needed and for you to take time to be yourself and your loss of connection and friendship.  

    You can reach out here and likely get some amazing responses, although not always the most timely I suspect.

  • Admin

    Clergy need a network to reach out to, just like everyone else.   We have training and skills to help others process their grief, but that doesn't mean those skills work for ourselves.  I lost a family member this year, and I have had to reach out to others to help me deal with my grief and loss.   We have to be there for each other as clegrypersons.

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