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Friday, June 9, 2017

Love, Even When It Hurts

Dealing with your own grief or walking with someone else through theirs is hard because there is no real right and lots of potential wrongs to be done in those fresh raw moments of coping and every person is different.

"Grief is like a bathing suit. It fits every person differently. Some hang out a bit here, some a bit there. Some shouldn't leave the house with it showing, and others make it look fabulous. Some grieve privately, never inviting another soul in. You might never know how they really feel; you might start to think they have checked out or are callous and coldhearted. Others do it openly, blogging as therapy, sharing their tears because it feels cathartic, because they need to grieve in community.

How is anyone to know what to do, how to help, how to survive? Some of the brokenhearted feel hurt if you don't ask after them, if you don't acknowledge their loss or their crisis. Others never want you to mention it, as if speaking of the lost loved one acknowledges the fact that he or she won't come back...."

- from Kate Merrick's "And Still She Laughs"

What a whirlwind of hyper conscientiousness on both the part of the grieved and the comforter. I've been on all sides.

·         I've been the griever closed like a clam shell and I've also been the griever open in my writing and seeking to share. And sometimes that switch shifts from one day to the next. My poor friends....

·         I have also tried to be the comforter, trying to discern if this is a moment to push in or to back off, and either way, tread lightly in case I made the wrong choice and need to U-turn.

All that said, I wish we'd all try to be a good friend to each other and assume the best of intentions from each other, even when it hurts. Sometimes as a comforter, you'll push in and get whipped back but please don't run. Respect space but be just on the perimeter so they know you are still there when they are ready rather than feel like they are all alone. And for those who grieve, know that people will say pocket clich├ęs, quote misapplied verses, and hand out  overtly positive phrases, and right now you may not want to hear them, but see their good intentions and acknowledge their effort. They are doing all they know how in that moment to try to show support, love and care....they may not be doing it "right" but see their heart of compassion.

So, to both the griever and the comforter, my challenge is this...Love each other when it is uncomfortable...Love, even when it hurts.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God”

Until next time,

In Christ,


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