Grief is a part of life in that there is no way to avoid it, but still no one seems to know how to address it gracefully.
Losing someone you love leaves you feeling like something is missing. Most everyone has experienced grief, but yet when it happens to a friend or loved one, we all stand around, mouths slightly agape, staring wide-eyed and wordless.
I have always admired cultures and families who are able to celebrate the lives of someone who passed instead of mourning and grieving. However, I haven’t been able to embrace that approach myself. In the last several years, our family has been hard hit by death; some tragedy, some expected. None, regardless of the length of prior suffering, did I truly feel ready to accept.
Believe me when I tell you that a loss from nearly 10 years ago of someone I loved is still felt the same as from someone who just passed. Friends, I don’t know how people lacking faith even live through this kind of deep, unshakable pain.
I have grieved loved ones. I have grieved pets. I have grieved the loss of dreams undone and the life I thought my child would have before his diagnosis.
There have been some events in my life that I am still grieving and I am not sure how to move past the numbness and onto something more meaningful than the fake half-smile I try to offer people in response to their condolences. There are people I care deeply for who have lost something or someone who was so much a part of the thread that wove them into the people that they are, they sometimes struggle minute-to-minute, much less a day at a time.
It is true that grief ebbs and flows. But, friend, I want you to know that I see you. I feel the pain that echoes through corridors of pain in you that are so deep and so wide that you feel like you might never recover. You need to know that that’s OK.
You aren’t alone. We are all fighting against something, struggling to make it one more day. Friends, be who you are right now. If you need to cry in the middle of lunch, girl, grab a napkin and get after it!
If you’re a friend of someone going through this, we don’t need anything. Just listen. Just hug us. Just stand there. We know it is awkward. But please—please—don’t tell us to just move on. And if I hear “time heals” one more time, Jesus take the wheel! I will lose my righteousness in a hot minute!
Women, be who you are in the moment and lift each other up. That is what is healing.