All tagged Supporting the Grieving
“What can I do to help?” my friend asked. “How can I be there for you?”
I was going through another foggy season of depression, struggling to get out of bed in the morning, unable to focus on tasks I normally enjoyed, and just not feeling like myself. Even though I wasn’t surprised my friend of over fourteen years posed the question, that didn’t make me any less grateful she was willing to ask.
It’s difficult to know how to support friends in their seasons of sorrow, especially if they’re going through disappointments, betrayal, and loss we haven’t experienced before. Thankfully, the Bible offers general principles for being a purposefully faithful friend in seasons of sorrow.
You showed up.
Right now as I’m living my own worst nightmare – having lost someone I love – that simple truth means everything to me.
I know coming here to my doorstep wasn’t an easy thing to do. Let’s be honest, you being here while I’m deeply grieving probably feels awkward. Sadness itself is awkward, and for that reason alone I know it would have been easier for you to stay home and avoid having to see me and these tears that can't seem to stop streaming down my face.
My husband and I struggle with infertility, and we’ve had two miscarriages.
It’s a sentence I’m starting to become more and more comfortable telling people. Even strangers.
Because now it’s part of my life story. Because now, I’m incredibly aware of this “secret club” of parents waiting or mourning.
And I’m trying to help break the silence.
We are coming to the part of the story where the rest of the world stops grieving with us. Not our family or our close friends of course, but the world beyond that. This is natural, and it’s okay.
But as I slowly come out from under my rock and back into community, there are a few things I want you to know about me.
Since our 20 week ultrasound when we were told our daughter probably wouldn’t live, and since our daughter passed away at 33 weeks along, people have said a lot of things.
And since that 20 week appointment, and since the passing of our child, I realized more clearly that I was hurt by the kinds of words that tried to fix our pain. And I was comforted by the kinds of words that simply acknowledged our pain.
Because it’s not only the good, the happy, the put-together parts of our lives that become members of the church. It’s also our mistakes, our grief, our dirty laundry, our struggles, our baggage. We carry it all through the doors with us. And when we admit what’s tattered in our lives rather than pretending that we have it all together, there is a beautiful platform set for mutual love and grace and mercy and support.
“I know,” God said to me today, “It’s an uncomfortable place to be.
But when you cast your cares on Me, they are My hands and feet.
My church will cry out with you, the same sad tears of pain.
My people are My gift to you, a gift of comfort in My Name.