Just a week prior, we had been giggling with excitement about the baby she was expecting!
Despite some health problems she’d been experiencing, my best friend was thrilled to find out she and her husband were expecting their third child.
But, as I talked with her in the days following the joyful news, she sounded different.
We’ve been friends for over a decade and I can always tell when something is off. Between the tantrums of her kids and my kids, our conversation was anything but smooth. It was full of interruption and chaos. In my heart I knew she had lost the baby. She never spoke the words. She didn’t have to. Before long the conversation ended because we both needed to tend to our children.
Later that night I received a text from her.
“I had a miscarriage.”
My heart completely sank. It sank for multiple reasons.
It sank because she was so hurt and broken she couldn’t even bare to speak the words. It was easier to type them rather than say them out loud. It sank because I had no words of comfort to offer her. It sank because I was hundreds of miles away and not able to hug her and cry with her. It sank because she’s my friend and when she hurts, I hurt.
A few weeks passed and she came for a visit. We’d had this visit planned for months and it had finally come. She came without her kids because she needed some time to allow her head to clear and recharge her rundown mama batteries. We all need those getaways from time to time, don’t we? When we are running on empty, the gas light is on and we are praying we will make it to the nearest service station.
The days before she came I wondered what I would say. I wondered how our time would be. It had always been an effortless friendship but now I found myself wondering how to act or what to say.
I’ve never experienced that kind of loss before. I’ve lost a parent and a grandparent which was hard all on its own, but the thought of losing a child, I couldn’t fathom. And words…no matter what words, just didn’t seem to carry any weight.
As she walked through the door, we hugged. No tears were cried or words spoken. Just a long overdue hug. Just two hearts knowing what the other was speaking, with nothing more than unspoken words.
I soon found out how our weekend would go.
It went just like it always does. It was effortless.
Our weekend was filled with episodes of Gilmore Girls, too much food, wine, workouts (to counteract all the food and wine), shopping, and best of all – a flashback jam session in the car.
As we drove and sang (just as we’ve always done), we looked at each other and it was as if we were 20 years old again. In that moment our unspoken words filled the gaps of our hearts.
I realized then, sometimes there are no words to be spoken and that’s okay. Sometimes the words unspoken can heal even more than the ones we speak. Sometimes the silence can say what words cannot.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15
God created us to be relational. He wants us to be relational with Him but also with each other.
I consider myself immensely blessed with some wonderful friends. In this life we are given people to rejoice with us in our happy times and to mourn with us in our sorrows.
Whichever the case may be, sometimes it’s best done with unspoken words and open hearts.