Many elderly have died in the past few months with COVID19. The ones who are left cried their way through Mother’s Day because the loss was fresh and seemed so senseless. Two families close to me lost their mothers just this week. Though they were not COVID19 related, grief is still grief. My own mother died in 1984 but every mother’s day is bittersweet.
It’s easy for a loved one to get stuck in grief if they rarely talk about their loss. Feelings swim around in their heart in pools of sadness. Everyone needs to talk with other people who love them enough to ask questions and listen well. Instead, how many get a scripture verse followed by a pep talk? It’s not too late to express our hearts toward those who didn’t have a mother to celebrate yesterday. We can engage even by acknowledging our struggle to know what to say. (They like that.)
Think of what happens when funerals are over. How many will tell a grieving friend how much they loved their mother and miss her? Instead, they’ll do anything to avoid making their friend cry but that’s such an unfortunate choice because we’ve left them alone in their grief.
Eighteen months after my mother died, I happened to run into one of her friends in the post office. She saw me and started to cry. “I miss your mother. It’s August and this is the time of the year we’d pick blueberries together.” Did her story make me cry? Yes, I bawled when I got in the car but I was still comforted. I said to myself, “Oh, thank goodness, someone else misses her too.”
Don’t let someone grieve alone today. Send them a note or call them this week. Encourage them to tell some stories that give release to their sadness. They will dig deeply to discover words they didn’t even know were there as we help their grief find a voice.
Lord, I need not fear other’s tears. Your Spirit, the Spirit of Comfort, is with me. Amen