Grief… no one likes it and no one wants to be in it, but unfortunately, almost all of us have experienced it. When the moment comes, when the terrible news hits, as friends and family of those that have lost, what do we say? What can we say? My dear friends, I’m sorry to tell you there isn’t much that can be done or said. All you can do is be there. Just be there. Don’t forget it happened. It’s easy to be there in the first couple of days. It’s customary to remember to bring a desert or a gift card in the wake of a tragedy. It’s after the wake that is the hardest. It’s when everyone has to move on that most find true sorrow and loneliness.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to start talking about it every time you see the person, and it doesn’t mean you have to keep bringing gifts or giving them the pity eyes. It just means to be gentle. Three weeks after we lost Camden, we were on a double date with friends at a restaurant. My husband saw a new mother walk in with her new baby and family—all of them smiling and laughing. Within a minute of them entering the room, my friend Hannah insisted on switching sides of the table with me, just so they wouldn’t be in my line of sight. This may seem inconsequential, or even trivial, but let me tell you that it meant the world. All I needed at that moment was thoughtfulness, and my loved ones delivered.
It’s important to remember that every mom or grieving loved one is different. We all have different love languages and comfort zones. Keeping that in mind, community is key in the Kingdom of Heaven. Remember to love thy neighbor as thyself and just be gentle.
“The second is this: ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no greater commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31