I have started, stopped, deleted, and restarted this post about 15 times. I’ve wanted to write, but my heart has felt so heavy and I just didn’t know what to say or if I should even say anything at all…not everyone wants their business put out on the internet, you know. But here it is.
The last two and a half weeks have felt like some kind of a weird whirlwind, a roller coaster, a strange dream…just insert whatever analogy you can dream up that applies to experiencing the heights of joy and the depths of sorrow in a matter of hours.
We had a beautiful Thanksgiving with family and then I went for a fun weekend of shopping in Atlanta with my sister-in-law and another friend a week after that. All of that falls into the joy category.
Then I got the text, at 7 o’clock on Sunday morning a week ago now. Call me when you get up—was all it said. Very unusual for my friend to text me at that time. I knew something was wrong.
I got up then, at 7, on the morning I was to return from my shopping trip. I called her. On the other end of the phone was my precious friend, my sister, my best friend for almost 30 years, telling me the devastating news that her sweet Daddy had passed away unexpectedly.
I was dumbfounded—still am, really. Chatty girl that I am, I was at a loss for words. I did not know what to say. I sat there and wept for my friend, for her kids, for her mom, for myself and in my shock was only able to say to her, “I’m so, so sorry.” and “I love you.”
Somehow it just didn’t feel like enough. When you get news like this, there is always this inexplicable need to do something. To help carry your loved one’s grief in some way.
But do what?
In that moment, I could only try to imagine her pain and foggily try to process this information and then feebly try to convey my deep love for her and her family. But truly, all I really wanted to do was get in my car and go to her—two states away at the time—and hug her so tight. Fortunately, a couple of days later, I was able to do just that. Unfortunately, my time with her was so brief. Oh, but I am so grateful that I was able to go, even for a short time.
My heart is suddenly keenly aware of those who go through this season with sorrow and hurt and loss. You know, those things that you never really get over, but somehow learn to live with. And though I know that, as believers, we do not grieve for our loved ones as those who have no hope, grief is hard. Loss is devastatingly sad and painful. And grieving while at the same time trying to get back to the business of living can be elusive. We need each other’s help to do that. We need each other so much.
And so, when I don’t know what else to say or do, I sit, I weep, I hug, I text, I send a card. I try to make my friend smile. I wait to see if she wants to talk or cry or not talk at all.
I pray. And pray some more.
And I say “I’m so sorry” and “I love you.”
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 NASB