I have an Internet friend whose son died several weeks ago. ( ya know, i think she is more than that, it just happens we do not live in the same part of the country, but i think we would be friends IRL)
He died from injures stemming from a drug overdose and a beating.
Henry was 18 years old.
What I want to talk about today is how people
“support” grieving people. Ya know the kind I mean:
“He is in a better place”
“G*d must have needed an angel”
“He is at peace”
“I know how you feel cuz my…..dog, cat. Neighbor. Bird died”
“Keep the faith”
that is a good one because I happen to know that Katie and her whole family.
And thousands of people over the world were praying for a miracle.
We “kept the faith” we really. really. did.
Begging and pleading for G*d to heal him.
And G*d said “no”
So, keep the faith?
When your heart is stabbed?
When you hurt so much you can not breathe?
“You’re strong enough to handle this”
“G*d has a plan”
“I admire your courage”
“God won’t give you anything you can’t handle.”
Even Mother Teresa knew that was crap she once said:
“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much”
When we say things like this
We may be taking away the courage to get help if they need it.
There is a story; and I can not find it on-line so I am going to retell it. Probably badly,
My apologies to the original author.
Please do not sue me.
There was a man whose son died unexpectedly. He sat in his chair and a neighbor dropped by without calling. and spoke of how G*D had a plan and he was in a better place, that he knew exactly how he was feeling cuz he was so sad when his dog died. he drank the coffee offered to him and When the neighbor got up to leave, he left the cup on the table, and the man was glad to see him go.
Later an old friend came by with a meal, sat next to the man and said nothing, drank the coffee, then he cleaned the coffee cup and other dishes in the sink, kissed the man’s forehead with tears in his eyes and left. The man was sad to see him go.
This. What our grieving friends want and need is some one to hurt with them, to bear witness to their pain.
They are alone. Grief is lonely work.
And the journey can only be traveled by the mourner.
All we can do is offer water and bananas along the way.
Spirit of life, Holy One, Divine Love known by many names
and no name, one who is not bound by gender or form or ethnicity.
I do not know what to pray tonight.
So I ask that you hold in your light
Katie and her family.
May it be so
May it be so