Friend, what if I told you your list of ways to care for me in my grief missed something important?
The truth is, gifting me meals is great. Housecleaning and child care too. The gift cards and greeting cards, phone calls and texts all mean something to me. These things express care and concern, and I appreciate them as such.
But what I really want? What my heart begs for the most but I’m too afraid to ask?
For you to cry with me.
For you to sit in this room, where it is thick and tense, and weep next to me. To love me in this desperately wanted way, so I never believe I’m a pariah among shiny, happy people.
I know what I’m asking. I know how hard and uncomfortable this would be. The world doesn’t like this level of real.
Still, will you come?
If you do, I don’t want you to feel obligated to offer me encouraging words. Honestly, if we don’t talk at all, it’s not a loss.
Sometimes I wish the world would shut up altogether anyway.
I’m not trying to be harsh. I’m just in a harsh place. It’s hard not to speak like I am, impossible not to live like it. I can’t remember living any other way. Not right now. Not today.
Today I want to cry, vulnerably, with no regard to pride. I want you to cry with me, to help me shoulder this pain.
Please, just cry with me. Not for me. With me.
Slip into this dark, lonely, heavy place with me and remind me I’m not alone in this real, awful part of humanness.
Stay here with me for a bit. Long enough to hear my anguish reverberate off these oppressive walls and sense the ache in my arms to hold my loved one. Peer into the depths of this ugly, convulsing grief, and be next to me as I find my way through it.
Please, be emotional with me.
Be human with me.
Hold my hand, match my tears.
Your tears speak your heart for me a hundred times more eloquently than your words and a thousand times better than your casseroles.
I don’t need to hear “this too shall pass” or “this will make me stronger” or “this will be a powerful testimony someday.”
Right now, I have no desire to be strong or powerful, and I am nowhere near that elusive pass.
Right now, I can only be here, in this grief. It is my life, my reality, my captivity.
I just want to cry. To scream out the agony, wail and moan – all the dark stuff the world tells me is too private, too intense to share. All the stuff other people run from.
But I’m asking you to brave this dark for me.
I won’t remember what anyone wrote in their sympathy cards. I won’t remember what they said to me at the services. Quite frankly, I couldn’t care less what someone brings me for supper.
But I will remember you came, sat next to me, and cried in shared grief. I will remember you didn’t run away. I will remember it vividly.
I want you to agree with me in tears. To lament the unfairness and how bad this sucks. To grieve that life will never be the same.
To feel how much this hurts.
What I need is someone to cry with me, who does not want or expect anything from me except face-on-the-floor sobbing. Who will pound their fists in helplessness and mourn with their whole body.
Just as I will be doing, vulnerable and pride-less.
Will you come? Will you be with me today in the heavy?
God bless you if you do.