In the space of a day or two I had three families around me suffer the loss of someone they loved this last week. Two were from my church, one was my new work family. I’m thinking of all of them today because it’s time for the funerals, and those always bring memories for me that I’m not particularly comfortable with.
So I went on Pinterest to find a picture and quote to use for this blog and found three themes that were on just about every board. I’m going to put them all here because they are all pretty good, even though I think sympathy cards are a bunch of crap. At least I’ve felt that way since my dad died.
I know most people probably feel good giving cards, and I love cards for birthdays and Christmas and stuff (although I’m horrible about actually sending them myself) but to me sympathy cards are just a waste of money. I don’t remember a single one I received during my most difficult summer… I held a lot of them in my hands, but couldn’t tell you one thing that helped me through.
What helped me through that horrible time was being in the company of my family and friends. People who didn’t feel the need to talk. People who would just listen. Hold my hand. Hold me while I cried. Leave me alone when I needed to be alone… although they wouldn’t leave me for long.
Losing Dad was the hardest, I think, because it was so unexpected. He was young. Not that it’s easier when it’s a grandparent or someone who was sick, because that is equally as difficult. I just think when you expect it there’s something in my brain at least that can make sense of it. Even though it completely sucks and the grief is just as unbearable… you hopefully had time to say goodbye.
The three families who I know that are grieving today did get to say goodbye. Those they lost were not unexpected, but that doesn’t make it less traumatic. They lost a father and grandfather, brother, uncle, sister, aunt, mother… three people who were dearly loved. I never had the pleasure to know any of them, but I grieve with these families because I know what it is to lose someone.
Every time someone goes through a loss like this, it hits me again how little time we have on this earth. We need to love those around us because we really aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. Hug often, forgive, laugh, love, celebrate, and enjoy each and every day.
Remember those that are gone. Memories are often all you have left after some time passes, and those are the most valuable treasures we can keep. I’m praying for my friends this week. Praying for peace and comfort. The pain they feel is real and I am familiar with that, but thankfully none of them are going through it alone. I pray you never have to grieve alone either.
Peace and love to you all!