Since Elaine’s accident, I can easily ‘tear up’ on many occasions. In seeing Elaine’s great pain, I can quickly identify with the suffering and grief of others.
Today I called a friend, my previous work associate, who had lost her dear husband in death just over a week ago. I called to request a short visit with her. Her husband, a retired veteran had befriended me years ago with caring support. Also he had been the second friend in our former prayer group to leave this earth in the last six months.
Ed exuded both hope and courage through life and particularly in his critical illness. I had seen Ed only two days before his death, divinely graced with the chance to tell him I loved him, pray with him and promise a visit again soon. I knew not then that my next visit with him would be in Heaven.
At today’s visit I had hoped to somehow offer his widow/my friend encouragement. Well, I arrived to give Darlene a holy hug. Almost instantly we both broke into tears. I sadly witnessed a friend who had lost her life companion of nearly forty-seven years; and I had lost a wise male friend of perhaps ten years. Although our relationship to this man quite different, common tears of grief flooded both our eyes and cheeks.
I apologized to her for my crying rather than offering her strong support. In many ways, I wished to have said just the right hope-filled platitudes. She graciously shared it just fine for her friends to grieve the loss with her. I sensed in my spirit that my tears somehow brought her comfort.
Sometimes all you can do is cry when your heart is breaking for your disabled sister, a grieving friend or the end of an earthly friendship. It is okay to cry, even if you are male, as you honestly share your grief with a survivor. Comforting others is not about visiting as a wise sage. It is about being a genuine and empathetic soul who agrees with each sob that we together have endured a great loss!