It hurts! The pain is so real and everything is so quiet. There is a ton of agony and frustration when you experience tears and are being told to, “Move on,” You can’t even move. You are paralyzed and so you end up more frustrated at yourself, at others, at the one you are mourning. Then you feel guilty for even feeling this way.
Your fear paralyzes you. When you are grieving, you don’t want to leave the loss of your loved one. You are afraid of leaving them behind. Afraid that they will be forgotten. Afraid because you don’t know how to live without them.
How do you experience joy when the one you want to tell about it isn’t there to listen? The joy you would have, is swallowed up by shame because the one you want to share it with isn’t there to share it. You feel guilty for seeing the sunrise, sunset, and new adventures for the first time because you turn to share and remember this is the one they never got to see.
Our souls weren’t made for this. We weren’t made for grieving and this is why it is so difficult.
Sometimes it is just a hand or a hug that encourages you to keep going. It’s a touch. The skin of a hand touching yours or a hug that reminds you that despite all that you are feeling, you are not alone. If we need each other to share in our joy, how much more do we need others to share our grief.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.“ROMANS 12:15
It’s the hushed tones of a voice whispering over you in prayer. You know that is were the answers to your questions are hidden… the mind of God. He knows even more than you do about this moment, more than your friends, more than the one we grieve… He knows.
But you don’t feel like praying. Maybe you have been taught to be careful about the tone that would come out? Maybe all you can do is ask the question, “Why?” so many times. Maybe you are afraid that you won’t like the answer. What ever the reason, you just stop asking… and so to hear the words of a friend mumbled over you in prayer is exactly what you need because your faith is running dry and you need to borrow someone elses for a moment.
Mourning is for the community and weaping is a team event. No one should cry alone and no one should rejoice alone. If you have never cried with a friend, perhaps you have never been a friend. We don’t let our friends cry alone.
When you were little, you would cry about everything. On my best days as a father, I would pause and cry with you. Maybe not in as real or full of a sense as you were crying, but in a way that said, “I was sorry too,” for whatever you were lamenting. I learned that my small gesture of validating your sorrow helped you to cope with everything that was going on and was helpful in moving into a new rythm of life. You needed my empathy and I needed to give it.
Sometimes we just need the tears of our friends. I am genuinely sorry for the moments I didn’t take time for tears with you.* There were too many times your tears exposed my insecurities. Often the need to stop your tears said more about me than it did about you. I was trying to fix my broken world by breaking you to fit in… when what I should have done was to sit down and cry with you for the world’s brokenness you were feeling that day and look forward to the day when He would wipe our tears away.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”REVELATION 21:4
*certainly there were times I was right to tell you to dry it up, but there were some moments that I should have taken the time to cry with you.
As my children come of age, they are starting to read my blog from time to time. I write for them as much as for all of you. This post is a meditation on Romans 12:15 I originally wrote as a journal entry but thought I’d share it here.