A previous post (2nd Oct) reminds me of my own bereavement. It is five years ago today since I lost my Mum. The pain is still real. I miss her so very much. And as I write this a few tears come to my eyes, I have to confess.
What I’m led to dwell upon here though is the mindless nonsense people often emit in such situations. I have written here about some of my alarm over this.
However, what I specifically remember was a dear friend of my Mum’s, at the pre-funeral assembling, saying some stuff about how I should think of my Mum being with us just watching on from above.
I mouthed some platitudes I think, but indignation arose inside me. It was nonsense she was telling me, possibly well-intentioned nonsense, but still nonsense and it was of no help to me. My Mum was not there; she had gone and the pain was immense. She was no longer around for me to call or spend time with. She was gone. Ah the pain still goes into me as I think of this.
I am left thinking that sometimes the best thing we can do for people in distress is simply to be there; simply just to spend time and show we care. And in this we can be there to listen to them or simply just to be there. For our instruction we can remember that Job’s friends were of the most use to him when they were silent for those seven days. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was (Job 2:13). It was when they started talking that they proved to be less than comforting comforters.