So last week I was talking about being the family pastor, right?
This last week, my cousin's friend/her kids' sitter died at age 36. This woman, Kelly, was like a second mother to my two little cousins. I liked, respected, and admired her as I am very close to my cousin and lived with her and her family during CPE. They are my home away from home. And Kelly just died one morning last week. To say it was a shock does little to expound upon the situation. She left behind a husband and three young girls.
So I'm thinking more about grief as I continue to grieve my own grandmother and to an extent, Kelly. I went to my home away from home this last weekend. And I thought, do I go as cousin and pseudo sister or as family pastor? What about the questions about how to tell the 3 year old who loves Kelly that he won't get to see her again? What about my own grief?
The best answer I can give is that I went as myself... with my own grief, with my pastoral care skills, with my love for my family. There's no easy answer for when to be pastor and when not to be. Regardless, I can never unlearn the things I have learned as I have become pastor. It is a part of me.