Search This Blog

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Grief requires presence, not answers.

When I was approximately 13, my mom taught me possibly the greatest lesson she ever taught me, and I didn't fully see it until just now...

My childhood friend back in Texas died, suddenly and unexpectedly. Mom said she would wait for a period of time then fly out to be with his mom, a good friend. We waited, weeks or months, not sure, then flew out together. 

In the first days after tragedy, people support you as best as they can. But quickly they disappear. Until, by a few weeks or a month or two out, they've all gone. You are left with crushing loneliness and grief, nobody there to sit with you in it.

Mom, a pastor's wife and a nurse, had seen it before. She wisely waited for everyone else to stop showing up, then we hopped on a plane from California and visited.

I was too young to see what we really did there. But now, as a Widower, when Mom again flew out to be with us periodically, helping me with various transitions with the boys, I see it.

The grieving person doesn't need your magic words, nothing you say or do will fix this tragedy. They need, simply, your presence. Play a game, watch a movie, give a ridiculously uncomfortably long hug.

Philip Yancey says "... no one offers the name of a philosopher when I ask the question 'Who helped you most?'... Someone who was available... Who came on the sufferers terms and not their own."

Even when suffering is self induced (a relationship they should have avoided, a decision that they know they shouldn't have made), there's a time for gently prodding the person who may need to make new decisions, but there's a time to just sit with them in it. They need to get your love before your solutions.



Post a Comment

Be Nice, Be Kind, Be Thoughtful, Be Honest, Be Creative...GO!


* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Powered by MailChimp