Do you feel uncomfortable when you are with someone who is grieving over the death of a loved one? Do you share with others or in self talk express, “I just do not know what to say.” We want to say just the right thing or at least not say the wrong thing. It is not easy and we feel so inadequate.
My first time to face death came at the age of twelve. My best girlfriend and I parted angrily following a childish quarrel and were not speaking. Then I learned that her father died following a stroke. I felt miserable…A neighbor called and said my friend wanted me to come to the funeral home. Though fear gripped me I knew I must go. What should I do; what could I say? When I arrived my friend quickly came to me and let me know she understood my feelings. She offered a hand to hold, when I should have been comforting her! I now realize that God gave her grace and peace in her hour of need. She just wanted her friend to be there. I did not need to do anything or say special words. She just needed me.
Four years later my grandmother died and I took her death very hard. At the funeral home I sat with the same childhood girlfriend and her steady boyfriend. (They have now been married close to forty two years.) He sat beside me holding my hand. His tenderness and compassion is a precious lasting memory. I have shared that experience with grief many times in recognition of his great concern. He knew I needed a hand to hold and he made his available. Do you sometimes feel at a loss for words? When Job lost all of his children, his wealth plus his health, some friends came and sat by him. (Job 2:12-13) They were silent; but they were present and accounted for. Do you sometimes feel at a loss for words? That is no problem; just reach out your hand!