Someone Just To Be There

When we are grieving we don't need theological explanations or simplistic answers like, "God's in control."  Knowing God is ultimately in control doesn't help me cope with my loss and heal my broken heart today.  Most times we don't need to hear from someone else as much as we may need for someone just to hear from us and listen to how we are feeling. Most of the time all we may want is their presence, not their wisdom or advice. A friend of mine who now works in hospice care was a pastor for quite a few years.  He shared an experience he had as a pastor when one of his church members died.  He was a relatively young pastor and went to visit the family at their home in their time of grief.  He said he sat there with them and couldn't think of much to say.  He spent a few hours there.  He shed some tears with them but kept trying to think of what else to say to help and comfort them.  Finally he had to excuse himself because he had another appointment.  He said he went out on the porch and broke down, feeling like a failure as a pastor, because he couldn't come up with the "appropriate" things to say.

My friend said that eventually he moved on to another ministry but occasionally would see this family. Even years later when he would meet up with the family they would mention how much they appreciated his visit in their time of grief.  It was his presence and his tears that made all the difference, not his words.

When someone does talk to us it is comforting to hear them mention our loved one's name and share thoughts and memories about them. This may bring tears and even some pain, but at the same time, we will find it comforting and healing.