Losing a friend or family member is never easy. Whether they were sick and suffering or just died suddenly, the loss can be so devastating it takes your breath away. I have experienced both, and in each case, the words, “They’re better off” or “It was God’s time to bring them home” are of no consolation.
Your world has just come to an end, and there is so much confusion in your head and heart you do not know where to turn. While those conveying their thoughts do so with every intention of helping and with sincerity, they will never know what or how you are thinking.
The best words I have ever heard are: “I don’t know how you are feeling, but I am here for you. I can listen or we can just sit quietly.” These are words I will always cherish, [remembering] how helpful they were to me. Nothing meant more than someone recognizing that they had no way of knowing how I was feeling. Grief is personal, and no one will never be able to know what the other is feeling.
This message is an excerpt from “Good words for grief” by Cindy Quirk Ryan of Trinity Lutheran Church, Lansdale, Pennsylvania, in the October 2019 issue of Gather magazine.
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