Mourn with those who mourn…I’m doing the work book Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb. Something he said got me thinking, ‘ to mourn with those who mourn is one of the hardest things for Christian’s to do.’ I’ve been turning this over and over in my pointed head, wondering why that would be hard…
I love to fix things. When someone comes to me hurting and in despair my mind goes on a mission. I frantically look for the best answer, the best plan, the best to-do list to throw at the situation. My motivation is good, I think. I want to help them FEEL better. Eliminate the pain. But what if they need to feel the pain. What if they need to lean into their hurt and move through it? Not around it.
When my mom left this world, it was sudden and hit me hard. If there was a grieving criteria, I would have failed. I folded up into a tiny person and locked myself in my house. For a few months I stayed in my bedroom. I’m not exaggerating. My friends didn’t know what to do with me. After a respectable amount of time some of them tried to get me to go out to lunch or some other “fun” activity. Looking back, I completely understand where they were coming from, I’ve done exactly the same thing. But here’s the thing…I couldn’t “do lunch” or something else ‘fun’. I couldn’t do anything but take the next breath.
I had two friends though, who gave me permission to grieve the way I needed to…both of them knew what it was like to lose a parent. They called frequently and listened to my pain. I didn’t hold back with them. And time after time, they mourned with me. This went on for nearly a year at this intensity. (I told you I wouldn’t pass grieving 101…)
My long time friend, Julie, who’s dad passed away when we were in our twenty’s told me to: “Do what you need to do, you’ll know when you’re ready to move through this“.
And Beth, my precious friend who lost her mom and since then her dad, loved me unconditionally and once told me: “It’s okay. You feel things deeply, that’s one of the reasons I love you so much”.
Both of these women told me that there’s no “right” way to grieve. They listened. They mourned with me. They didn’t try to fix me. And I’m forever indebted to them for that.
I don’t want anyone to feel unnecessary pain. I want to help with a solution if I can. But I’m learning that sometimes feeling pain is necessary and a solution isn’t appropriate. Have you ever experienced a loss or been in a painful time when someone shared your journey instead of trying to take you in a brighter direction? How do you mourn with those who mourn?