|Photo Credit: Kiomi|
Yesterday I hugged a friend who is going through the grieving process of losing a loved one. I asked how she was doing and she replied, “Not very well.” I tightened my arms around her and told her I was sorry for what she was going through. She said it hurt. I agreed. She said it was a process. I nodded. She said it takes time. She was right. She cried. I cried.
What do you say to someone when her heart is wounded?
Platitudes sound meaningless and insincere.
A couple of years ago, someone close to me miscarried. I made the comment about all in God’s time or something like that. She replied, “I don’t want to hear a meaningless platitude. I want to grieve and be angry. I’m hurt and angry. Please don’t take that away from me.”
That was an ear opener for me.
When those around us are hurting, we have to let them. We have to allow them to go through those stages of grief or loss in order to heal. If we seal their wounds with meaningless platitudes, then we are denying them the right to process their emotions. Of course, that is my completely non-academic Lisa-world way of thinking.
Life stinks. Sometimes things happen that are so unfair. One thing to always remember though–God is always there. We can be angry, yell and scream about the unfairness of the situation, but He waits to hold our hands when we’re ready to allow Him to lead us down the road of recovery.
Your turn: How do you handle a friend’s or family member’s wounded heart? Have you ever been at a loss for words?
Our best friends just lost their son in a tragic car accident on Memorial Day. He just graduated highschool. He was returning home with his biological mother and siblings.
I never quoted scripture or talked about God's ways, because, like you said it wasn't what they wanted. They know God and love God, but they needed time to be angry, to cry, and to grieve.
I hugged, cleaned house, laundry, took the kids and anything else I could to show how much I loved them. It's tough.
Our pastor preached the Sunday after it happened about how it's okay to simply say, "I love you. I'm praying for you." and then letting it go. I thought those were words well spoken. 🙂
Jesse, you showed love. Beautiful. I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure your heart hurts too.
Love your pastor's words.
Absolutely, I agree with this. While parts of us have to realize God is in control, and we have to be grateful for that, there is still need for excusing all sound reasoning for a bit to just feel what needs to be felt. I've been there, and it strengthens the soul like platitudes can't.
Great blog you have here! Nice to "meet" ya. 🙂
God taught me a lot about this this weekend.
So good to get away.
As one who has miscarried twice, I get the silence thing. Hugs always worked great. 😉
You are a good friend to be thinking what would speak love the loudest.
Janna, thanks for visiting! Don't remain a stranger. I love meeting new friends.
God gave us emotions for a reason.
Wendy, thanks for your experienced words of wisdom. I'm so glad your time away refreshed you.
It's hard when our loved ones or friends are grieving–we want to help, to take their pain away, but we can't. Hugs and "I'm here for you" are genuine, wonderful, and usually appreciated.
I very much understand the no words thing, LJ. It's so easy to slip into "Christian platitude recitation" mode in an effort to do something to help, but like you said, rarely does that offer the comfort we long to give (and receive). Sometimes there's a time for being the "voice of Truth" in a wounded friend's life, but I don't think that time is hardly ever right in the aftermath of whatever is causing the pain.
Also, loved your encouraging reminder at the end of the post!
Sometimes there are just no words to make it better. Just showing up to hug a friend says so much. Our actions speak so loud and to hug and cry with one who is hurting is sometimes the best medicine.
The word verification on this comment is "blesses"…how appropriate!
Thank you for this reminder Lisa. I think with friends and family I am really careful to just let them feel and grieve, but often with my kiddos, I rush to FIX or EXPLAIN problems away. Thanks for the post.
You are a good friend Lisa. I'm glad the Lord had you there for her. =)