Solutions June 2016 - Page 37

to say or do when death crashed at close range. Instead of letting hugs, prayers, texts, gifts, and silent support do the talking, there were a few well meaning (and theologically inaccurate) comments we received that did anything but help. In fact, they felt like punches to my broken heart that was already bleeding all over the place. “God takes the best ones to be his angels, which is why he took Goldie.” “Well, it must have been the will of God, honey.” (While crying at Goldie’s memorial service) “God has COMMANDED you to be of good cheer. You can grieve later.” “Romans 8:28 and James 1:2, girl! God’s gonna use this for good so consider it pure joy!” “Oh Christa, don’t be sad! Don’t you know life is but a breath and death is not the end?” “God knew how many people would be healed and saved because of her death, so it’s why he chose to take her.” And my personal favorite, “I totally know how you feel. My cat just died.” When death comes and hits those around you, might I make a few suggestions? The fragility of a shattered heart in moments of loss should be treated as delicately as someone who endured a bomb blast. I would love to equip you to aid in someone’s healing, instead of accidentally kicking them while they’re down. Don’t Try To Silver-Line A Raincloud I call this approach the ‘at least’ smack. “Well, Christa, at least you can still have other children.” “At least you still have your son, Moses.” “At least Goldie is in heaven and you’ll see her again” The ‘at least’ comments are usually true. But they don’t bring back the dead. a shoulder to anyone crying in the rain. Empathy doesn’t need to change a person; empathy wants to be close to those who weep for as long as they need the support. In times of loss, no one wants distant solutions for a future they can’t see, especially when their vision is consumed with their present pain. A grieving heart simply needs someone to love and accept them in their current moment of dark agony. Don’t Speak On Behalf of God About Their Loss If you feel the need to speak on behalf of God after a loss, please don’t talk about His will. It’s simply not the time. Instead of talking about the will of God during times of The ‘at least’ smack forgets death, the best thing to do that the griever is sitting is to remind the griever of His dead center inside a nature. Remind them that hurricane that isn’t letting up He’s the ultimate Comforter, anytime soon. They forget and that He provided us that mourning isn’t a sprint— a Comforter because He it’s a marathon—and that knew that pain hurts like hell your shattered heart takes and that we would mourn. time and care to piece Remind them that He’s the back together. ‘At least’ Healer, and the only one friends usually haven’t dealt who can put their broken with their own pain enough heart back together. Let to handle yours, so they them know that you might want to ‘fix you’ quickly to not have the answers they make themselves feel less are looking for, but that the uncomfortable around your greatest Counselor lives discomfort. inside, waiting to speak to any who ask and listen. If you’ve attempted to silver-line someone’s Remind them that the raincloud with an ‘at least’ Redeemer and Restorer is statement, remember this: camping out directly in the sympathy wants to fix a middle of their broken heart, problem, but empathy sits ready to begin the relational down in the storm, offering journey of putting them SMG Solutions 37