In moments of grief, we often find ourselves searching for the right words to comfort a friend who has lost a loved one. Yet, despite our best intentions, our words can sometimes fall short, leaving the grieving person feeling misunderstood or further isolated.
One phrase that should be handled with care is, "I understand how you feel..." This sentence, no matter how well-intentioned, may not resonate with the person who is grieving, especially if you haven't experienced a similar loss. It's important to acknowledge that you may not truly comprehend their pain unless you've walked in their shoes.
It's worth noting the story of the blessed Job. Job, a righteous man who underwent severe trials and losses, including the death of his family, his wealth, and his health, did not complain against God as his friends and wife encouraged him to do. However, it's a stretch to expect the same reaction from someone who has lost their spouse. Even as we strive for holiness, few can immediately respond to such a profound loss with, "Thank you, Lord, for this experience."
Even years later, the sentiment may not change. The story of Job comes full circle, but our individual stories remain incomplete.
I remember a phrase a friend shared with me after the death of my husband: "We are still here, facing questions, while Oleg is in a place where answers exist." Strangely, it provided a great deal of comfort. It illustrated life as a carpet, showing only the underside with protruding threads, absent of any pattern. The pattern becomes apparent when we view the carpet from the other side.
Phrases like, "Don't cry, they're in a better place," can also be challenging to digest. It's often difficult to believe that a loved one is in a "better place" when we are left in a world filled with pain and longing.
Another well-meaning but problematic response is, "You're strong! You're my hero." This sentiment may stem from our cultural tendency to idealize strength. In the face of deep grief, the expectation to be a superhero can become an additional burden. The loss of a spouse, in particular, is a situation where it's crucial to learn to ask for help. In my own experience, I quickly realized that donning a superhero costume was unrealistic, and I sought assistance.
I asked for help boldly, with the conviction that my family would receive it. I wrote articles and shared our story on the radio. We accepted everything our friends and even complete strangers offered. With their support, our family began to heal and grow. During the most painful period of my life, people showed us extraordinary generosity, love, and compassion.
Instead of offering a superhero's costume, let's wholeheartedly, and wisely, share each other's burdens – especially the heaviest ones.
Original article: https://radiovera.ru/uhod-polovinki.html