I’ve recently been affected by friends who are facing the greatest grief this side of Heaven, the death of a loved one. My Mom and Dad both passed away around the holidays, as well as my husband’s mom, making this time of year emotional for me. I haven’t moved on from feeling the pain of the loss, but I’ve grown as a result of it.
Grief is necessary and there are no rules as to how each of us deal with it. The thing is to know what to say when a close friend or relative is facing such a loss that you’ve yet to experience. There are helpful things and hurtful things, but all mean well even if what is said brings a sting with it. This is why we often don’t know that we have hurt someone by our response to their pain. They usually don’t tell you, they just become silent and pull away.
A dear friend lost her husband last week. She has shared some of her pain on social media and many responders have said exactly what she doesn’t need to hear. “He’s in a better place”. “He would want you to move on with your life.” And so on. Instead we need to come along side those as they grieve and let them cry. The Bible provides the simplest and best advice…”Weep with those who weep.” (Period). Even Jesus did this with Mary as she grieved her brother, Lazarus’ death. And Jesus knew He was about to bring him back to life, yet Jesus paused and wept with her.
Why did He do this?
I believe He was setting us an example of how to best help someone in their suffering. Let them cry. Let them talk about their loved one. Let them continue to miss them and acknowledge that their life mattered. Even if it makes you uncomfortable, maybe even causes you to cry, this is the best we can do for those grieving.
I found this Ted Talk by Kelley Lyn titled, When Someone You Love Dies, There Is No Such Thing as Moving On. It is only 16 minutes long, but Kelley provides excellent ideas on what really helps a friend who is facing such a loss. If you or someone you know is grieving I pray this video will bring comfort to your heart this holiday season.
I kept the memory of my grandmother alive who died in 1979, by writing her story in my historical fiction novel, Through The Eyes of Grace. It is my tribute to the woman who had such a profound influence on my life and all who knew her. Doing such things let’s love live through our memory of those who have passed away.
May this Christmas season be one where you receive tidings of comfort and joy, even if joy seems far away at the moment.