Tag Archives: christianity

children processing death


Last week I published a letter from Nathan Jernigan, a licensed psychotherapist who attends our sending congregation in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  In it Nathan offered advice as to how we ought to help our children through trauma and tragedy; this was written in response to the Sandy Hook shootings.

I mentioned in that post I’d like to share some of my thoughts on children dealing with death.  So today I am.

Here is the letter I wrote Nathan in response to his advice (I’ve bolded a few thoughts):

Nathan, this is Brett Harrison writing from Geita, Tanzania.  I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you having written this for everyone at Stones River (and even their missionaries abroad).  While the shootings in Newtown aren’t something about which we’ve heard a great deal — and while the oldest of our children is only three — your words are very much appreciated.  

Our daughters regularly are witness to sickness, sadness, and tragedy here in Geita; and navigating these situations is difficult for me at times. Continue reading



Filed under family, just thinking

helping our children through trauma

The tragedy in Connecticut is not something that made headlines here in Tanzania.  We didn’t hear about it on the radio or see it on our televisions.  I’m sure it’s all over internet news sites which we do see here (I scan the world news every couple of days — but generally once I’ve read a report on a particular subject, I rarely return to read more on that subject*).  So we’ve not read a great deal about the shootings in Newtown.

[Don’t worry, though.  This is not going to be one of those posts in which an expat living abroad points fingers at all the Americans who are upset about a handful of people dying in the land of plenty — while thousands die every day at the hands of malaria and corrupt regimes where we are.]

What I am getting at is that while I’ve not read a great deal about the shootings themselves, I have read massive numbers of bloggers on the subject.  Many were quite political, making the tragedy which occurred seem as a stepping off point for the anti- and pro- gun agendas, a springboard for discussions on the involuntary commitment of the mentally ill, and a grounds on which to base arguments for or against Calvinism (or Christianity in general).  [I am not against these discussions — I rather enjoy them, actually.  But I’m not sure it seems the time (the place, yes, but perhaps not the time).]

I do want to offer you, though, two written pieces that came out of the Sandy Hook tragedy.  Neither is an attempt at politicizing what happened and both are hugely practical. Continue reading

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Filed under family, guest posts, practical advice

brett’s morning blend (19dec12)

A few days ago I asked Baylor for a good morning hug.  She slowly backed away and responded, “But… you see… I’m really so pretty.  And pretty people don’t give hugs.  [Long pause.]  You know… I only give kisses to everybody.”

She then leaned in and gave me a kiss… without a hug.

Where does my daughter learn these things?!  Does Dora teach that the attractive among us don’t embrace?  “Yo soy hermosa. No hay un abrazo para ti, Boots!”

And since when is giving kisses to EVERYBODY an action that can be qualified with the word only?

Your links: Continue reading



Filed under morning blend