GRIEF RELIEF MINISTRIES
Grief Relief Ministries offers live presentations by David Knapp to help those who find themselves at the aid of others experiencing any form of grief from loss. Whether your group is currently helping folks going through loss or they are interested in being prepared when the occasion arises, David can give insights as to what to say as well as things to avoid in the process.
David Knapp enters your world softly, and with deep wisdom and emotion he shares his story of loss. Ultimately, he walks beside you through the grief process to a renewed attitude of winning for the next season. His journey of authenticity has not been easy. He has loved and cared for not just one wife who died of cancer long before her time, but two wives. During that journey he raised and blended two families of eight children. He worked as an executive, with side jobs to supplement the mounting financial burdens.
You will learn that David carries no chip on his shoulder. He has a love for the family and a desire to share what he learned through the years. David is not afraid of discussing the raw emotions, but gives equal time to wholeness and healing to help those grieving be in a winning place.
- Loss due to the death of a spouse
- Grief from a job loss or position change
- Grieving the loss of a pet or best friend
- Helping children thru the grieving process
- Adjusting to extreme family changes (blending, losing a child, empty nest)
- Helping leaders in personal crisis
- Dealing with loneliness due to loss
Whether you heard David Knapp in person or read his writings, you will be comforted and blessed in your journey with bereavement. Because David’s own experiences with losses, he is willing and able to take you deeper into your own loss and at the end of the day, you will be helped in wonderful ways. Through the teachings of David Knapp you can be of great help to those you know who are going through the grieving process and aid them to end in a complete way.
It was a Monday like most. Chores to do, tasks to be accomplished. And I had to go grocery shopping. Not my favorite thing to do. But the refrigerator was looking awfully bare, so I made it my last stop before going home. I pull up to the store and park on the side because of all the street construction. Once inside I purposefully get what’s needed and swoop into… oops, need one more thing. Pull out of line, search for the right aisle, grab the distilled water and get back into the fastest (I hope) check-out lane. I hadn’t seen this gal, but then again they’re always changing, right? As she’s checking me out, I notice this rather large gash that’s healing across the bridge of her nose. Not wanting to be nosy I resist asking, but I’m so curious. Then her supervisor comes up to her with a clipboard and they talk in quick, incomplete sentences about the work schedule and then walks away. The clerk, Shannon, I see on her name badge, says to no one in particular, “I can work six days a week….” Then she looks at me and explains, “Our Day Manager was killed in a car accident on Saturday night.” Whoah. Less than two days ago! “Is this the thin one?” I ask in stunned alarm. Since I’m there at the store fairly often, I do recall her… “Yes. I feel a measure of guilt,” she says as she scans my items, “though I know you’re not supposed to.” Looking at her intently and indicating that I wanted to listen, she continued. “I was in a car accident two weeks ago and got pretty banged up.” She motions towards the cut and goes on to describe how she had a concussion and had five days off because of it. “Then I returned to work a little too early. I couldn’t make it through my full shift and had to leave. I told them I couldn’t come in the next day too. I needed to rest. So everyone had to take up the slack. She,” (I never did get the Day Manager’s name) “said she’d do it and go riding with her boyfriend on Saturday. If I wouldn’t have changed things around…” her voice trailed off. I comforted her, reassuring her that she was in no way responsible. But still she was hurting. Her demeanor was professional of course, but the emotional hurt was obviously there. I quickly mentioned about my husband’s book and searched for his business card that we designed that has an intriguing design leading to the message of the book. But I couldn’t find one in my big, everyday full-of-everything-else purse. As I wheeled the cart out to my car, I remembered that we kept books in the trunk. Quickly I dialed David to see what he thought. Without skipping a beat he said, “Give her a book.” I went back into the store and stood beside her until she could give me her attention and handed her his book. She hugged me tightly and said, “Thank you. Thank you very much.” That was the second time in two weeks we have given away a book because of the person’s immediate need. I knew it was right and wondered throughout the evening what might come of it. Oddly, I couldn’t shake the account of this motorcycle accident and the Day Manager. It kept coming to mind. Little by little over the next couple of days visual pieces of another encounter began to come together… I was in the checkout lane nearest the west entrance, bright sun shone in almost blinding you. They hadn’t pulled the blinds yet. And the clerk, it was her! The Day Manager. Thin, very thin and very tanned – weathered looking – so it was impossible to guess her age. I had been in her lane! Possibly the Monday or Tuesday before! She really never acknowledged me. Having less than 15 items, there was very little interaction – no time. And, as I recall — someone came up to her with a clipboard while she was checking me out. The scene kept “filling out.” As I’m gathering my few bags, she’s not looking at me. She’s just standing, arching her back and looking straight ahead almost bored with the constant, repetitive actions. Almost under her breath with some sense of anticipation she says, “Yeah, I’ll do it. That way I get to go riding with my boyfriend on Saturday.” I was there that day never knowing that I’d never stand in her line again. I was there when she quickly rearranged her weekend plans, never knowing it would be her last because of a horrific accident that didn’t even make the local evening news. I’m still stunned by it. What am I to learn? I’ve always been pretty sensitive to the brevity of life and the finality of death. But still, I guess you never really do know, do you?
From sharing his grief journey with others to “walking the talk” daily, David Knapp communicates clearly what it is like to experience and grow through grief. David is able to not only tell his own story but can listen and empathize with the grief journeys of others. He has a gentle and godly manner that encourages and gives hope to those who are struggling through the journey themselves or who are trying to walk alongside someone who is. I highly recommend him as a speaker and teacher and am looking forward to the publishing of his new book, “I Didn’t Know What to Say” Retired teacher, administrator and adjunct professor who has recently lost a mother and a father and an adult nephew and who is a trained hospice volunteer.
“Have you ever felt uncomfortable in trying to help someone who is grieving a loss? Did you ever “shrink back” because you didn’t know how best to be a support and didn’t want to make it worse? Few of us know what to say or do to offer real comfort, that is, until now. Through his own heartfelt grieving, David has overcome, breaking down the process for us and providing a road map for anyone who wants to “be there” for a hurting person. Since loss affects us all at one time or another, this book should be a very helpful tool.” Brenda Terpstra Retired Teacher
I strongly recommend David Knapp’s Grief Relief Ministries for anyone that has experienced any type of loss or tragedy that resulted in deep pain and suffering. Mr. Knapp’s ability to relate, understand and communicate the process of recovering from grief is nothing short of a true gift from God. He also has an amazing ability to communicate with any size or demographic of audience in a way that is refreshing and uplifting even in the face of an otherwise extremely heavy subject. I have personally seen him communicate and connect effectively with audiences as small as five to as large as 5,000. He is comfortable and confident regardless of who the Lord puts him in front of. Please seek his ministry out if you or someone you know needs relief from grief.
I am writing you a quick thank you message for writing the book you authored on grief and how to handle it. My family was ravaged and touched by grief over the last 10 years following my divorce. The mother of my children kidnapped my two kids and fled to Alaska with them. Took a lot of effort by Law enforcement, Governor’s office and God’s grace in three states to find them and return them to me. Then, while awaiting prosecution for the act, Zach and Katie’s mother committed suicide on Christmas eve 2014. My whole family has been dealing with this pain and sorrow so bad and your book has been a big help in the healing process. You were most definitely guided in your witness. Thank you and God bless. David L Fooks
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of “I didn’t Know What to Say” by David Knapp.]Title: I Didn’t Know What To Say Author: David Knapp Genre: Grief/Self-Help/Non-Fiction In I Didn’t Know What To Say, David Knapp offers real life experience to friends of grievers. Suggestions on what should and should not be said coupled with ideas to actually help those hurting are all shown through real life examples. The loss of a job is a serious thing for those who have dedicated their life to their work and should not be taken lightly. To a couple who have never had children or a small girl who’s best friend is her dog, the loss of a pet can be devastating. The loss of a spouse or child are both traumatizing and friends shouldn’t expect the mourner to ‘just get over it’ anytime soon. As the author points out often in his book, everyone losses something precious to them at some point in their lives which means that everyone knows someone who has experienced loss. Whether it was a child, spouse, job or even a pet; there are levels of grieving that everyone goes through. How you as a friend react to this process is a key instrument in helping them through it. When I was younger I lost a distant relative who I wasn’t very close to. I was very close with another member of the immediate family though and it was so hard not knowing what to do or say to help them. Reading this book showed me what I did right, what I did wrong, and where I could have done more. I wish I had had it back then. The author doesn’t simply offer advice from his own experience and perspective but years accumulation of suggestions and advice from men and woman who had experienced deep loss in some way. He covers the different types of emotional responses that can be expected and emphasizes everyone’s right to grieve in their own way. Also, while the author comes from a distinctly Christian perspective, he talks about being sensitive and accepting of others religious (or non-religious) beliefs during the grieving process. This is a great book for anyone to read, whether you know someone who is grieving at the moment or not. Everything is to the point, makes sense and is easy to understand. I highly suggest it just for the sake of having this know-how for the next time you friend wants to talk about his lost job or the neighbor next door loses her precious cat. I give I Didn’t Know What To Say 4 out of 4 stars for being almost completely unique in it’s advice for the friend of grievers, and for it’s usefulness to nearly everyone in this modern day and age where we are so disconnected and really just don’t know what to say.
4 out of 4 stars
Review by AbbyC
Did your parents, your school, your church ever teach you how to respond to someone in grief? I have been finding that most people say no. Well here is a book to fill that gap, as we all need to know how to handle grief. I have found it most helpful in guiding one to know what to say and not say, and when to speak up or remain silent. John R. Cross GoodSeed International
David Knapp has given me a whole new insight on how to talk with a grieving friend or family member. He shares his experience with his own losses; he helps us to understand how we can be a better friend to those who are experiencing grief. How many times have I said to myself, I hate funerals because I just never know what to say to that friend or family member who has just lost a loved one? Saying I am sorry for the lost just never seems to be enough. So I have found myself unconsciously avoiding that person because, I just didn’t know what to say. When I reflect back, how many times I have been guilty of saying to someone that their loved one is out of pain and is no longer suffering, or to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord was just so insensitive while trying to give words of comfort, I was jabbing at a fresh wound. Even though they may know their loved one is out of pain and with the Lord there is a huge whole in their life because of the missing loved one. David Knapp has shown me that it is alright to talk about the deceased loved one, or to talk to someone who has just lost a job or a best friend, because loss of a career of friend can be just as devas ting as loosing someone in death. It’s alright to just talk, because maybe all they need is for someone to listen. Grief is never an easy thing to deal with. I hardily recommend this book to anyone who has ever said or thought to themselves, I just don’t know what to say to a grieving friend or family member. Carolyn A. Walker Former Arizona State Senator
“David Knapp has put together a valuable and much need manual on how to help friends and loved ones as they journey through the grieving process. Especially helpful is the section at the end of the book that details what one can do to comfort and help those who experience the loss of a loved one at the time of death, one week later; and at intervals from 3 weeks, 3 months, six months and up to a year after the time of loss. There are tips covering what to say and do at the holidays; and how to help when those missing anniversaries and birthdays come around. Especially useful is the short guide at the end on what not to say when someone is grieving and what can be said instead when words are appropriate. This book will be a welcome resource, not just for minister’s and counselors, but in every family’s bookshelf.”
“I Didn’t Know What to Say” is a compilation of life experiences David has faced to get where he is today. Visit our Book page for more information.