A Dear friend of mine lost her mother to cancer today.
I didn’t know her, but through knowing my friend, I just know her mother was a phenomenal person. Have you ever known someone through another’s perspective? Like, you can feel as though you know the person from having them described to you? And also as a result of seeing the impact of that person reflect in the life of the person you actually know?
Well, that’s where I am today. I never knew this woman, but her life is still impacting the world she left behind. As mothers, we always seem to leave a little piece of ourselves for the world to see through our children. My friend is a wonderfully creative and down-to-earth person. She is one of those people who can see beyond the surface level, and see the beauty and deepness in it; which may be lost by the average viewer. So, I KNOW her mother was an incredibly strong and inspirational woman.
But, what do you say? What do you do? When someone you care about has lost someone, especially someone who so profoundly impacted their lives, what can you really do?
Every time I have been confronted with this situation, I fumble miserably around the right words to say, or trying to avoid saying the wrong words. It’s just not something, we are ever prepared to face, until it happens.
You know, Jesus was a man that walked the earth like we do, and He felt the same emotions that flood through our veins, hearts, and souls. He wasn’t immune to loss; He experienced great loss. He lost His best friend.
33 When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, He was angry in His spirit and deeply moved. 34“Where have you put him? ” He asked. “Lord,” they told Him, “come and see.”
35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how He loved him! ” 37 But some of them said, “Couldn’t He who opened the blind man’s eyes also have kept this man from dying? “
Even knowing what would be the final outcome of the situation with Lazarus … knowing, He would call His friend back from the dead . . . Jesus wept. He felt the pain of those around Him and He was “deeply moved.”
He wept with them. Here is our model. Here is where we see what we are to do, how we are to respond to our friend’s loss. Their loved one may be in Heaven, or a better place, as some call it. This alone can be cause for celebration of the believer’s life – but, that’s not to take away from, or to forget, the pain of the ones that were left behind. We don’t have to have the perfect words or the absence of imperfect ones. We just need to be with them. To love on them. To allow ourselves to feel their pain, and to bear it with them.
To my friend: I love you, and I am here for you. I am not going to insist you move on quickly, and I’m not going to shower you with cliche’s. I am in this with you for the long haul. . . even when you feel homesick.