I started writing this post a few weeks ago … and then I just read a confirmation.
I have 2 very close friends going through deaths. I feel for them. I want to support them. But to a certain degree I wasn’t sure how to help or what to say.
I often wonder because if something happens , I have no instinct to cry.
I wonder “ Is something wrong with me? Or something wrong with my emotions? Am I not compassionate? Or compassionate enough?”
I started wondering if those that are distraught are more concerned or “love” more than me?
I haven’t been able to articulate this yet but I will try…
We are made for truth.
We are made for life after death. We are only passing through.
Our loved ones are not “ours” to keep. We are only blessed with them for a time.
God loves our loved ones infinitely more than we do.
The goal is eternal life.
Suffering brings great holiness.
These are truths.
A recent funeral I went to I couldn’t help but notice how calm and collected my family was grandparents, aunts , uncles and cousins . I even talked to my mom about it , and she said it’s because they all have faith. (Not that there wasn’t sadness and tears but it was not desperation)
When I was about 20 years old I was in Chicago on a trip and an acquaintance called me and sobbing crying told me that one of my good friends had died.
Instantly , I could picture my friend Nicole dancing and laughing in heaven. She was smiling and looked so happy. I went along with my Chicago trip as planned thinking of her and I could not make myself get sad. I kept seeing that vision of her.
( side note: I had always felt like Nicole was so misunderstood. She was absolutely gorgeous!! But the girl was so goofy. She was hyper and goofy. She often had problems with other girls in high school, because they didn’t understand her”
She also had a some really tough things in her home life.
I couldn’t help but be happy for her, that she finally could fully be herself. )
When I went to the funeral , I almost had to control myself from being too friendly because I didn’t want to seem cold for not crying.
As I walked up the line to see my friend, she looked really bad in the casket. Nothing like herself which oddly confirmed to me that it was NOT her.
When I walked up to say my respects her dad lit up and gave me a huge hug. He said “June, we could not find your number. We didn’t even know if you knew … I’m so glad you are here”
I told him”I have to tell you , when I found out all I kept seeing was Nicole smiling …. and such and such”
I didn’t know how he would respond to that , it’s kind of a weird thing to say to a father who lost his only daughter. Well , he smiled and hugged me and hugged me and thanked me several times.
I learned that day , grieving people need hope. They need people of faith to have confidence in their faith. Especially when they are not strong enough to do it themselves.
My dear beautiful friend Jessica once said this and it has always stuck with me. When she had her first miscarriage, she said her husband said “Well Jessica, if our goal is to get all our children to heaven we have a head start! One is already there”
Now I hope all of you remind me of these things if ever grief consumes me.
But I guess this is my message… some people handle death really well, they can remember their lost ones clearly. Faults and talents. They can talk about funny things and great memories and it’s a beautiful way to keep that persons memory alive.
Sometimes our extreme reaction to tragedy is our own fears.
We may feel as if “if this can happen , what will God ask of me?? Will he take everything from me as well?”
Even in tragedy we must trust Our God.
Not the fluffy or flowery idea of God but the intimate friend who knows us better than we do. And a God who was bloody , beaten and humiliated. He knows suffering and is so willing to join in our sufferings for the greater good of saving souls.
So how can we comfort those who are suffering.
Praying for their peace.
Checking on them.
Remain confident and not despair.