Grief often begins with a word. In the midst of our deepest grief, when we have no words for what we experience, we also often find little comfort in words. What is more important most often is presence: the presence of people who care and who don’t paper over our grief with their well-meant but sometimes unhelpful cliches or platitudes.
Just be with me, sit with me, cry with me, hold me. But please don’t give me easy answers or hollow promises. Don’t try to fix me, even though you mean well. Especially don’t tell me that I would be okay if my faith were deeper or if I trusted God more. The grief work is mine; I must do it. But I welcome caring people to walk alongside me.
This is excerpted from The Faces of Grief, a free program resource, written by Sonia Solomonson. It is available in English and Spanish. Today we remember Gregory the Great, bishop of Rome, who died in 604.