Sunday, June 4, 2017

Mourn with those who mourn.

Early in the journey of our past year...with a broken, shattered heart...I cried out to God.

I remember it so clearly.  I could barely catch my breath between sobs.  And my question was not "why?" it was a deep longing to know that Heaven cried.

I stood in my bathroom looking at my swollen, blotchy, mascara-stained, notably sleep-lacking face...and sobbed.  All I wanted to know is that God Himself wept.  Did Jesus cry...? Did Heaven mourn as the worst of the worst had occurred?

I think far too often we awkwardly tip toe around people that are grieving. We don't know what to we (wrongly) say nothing.  Perhaps try to distract them and talk about happy things.  No. No one is looking for you to solve their deep pain. No one expects that of you, so why do you expect it of you? In fact...most of the 'wisdom' you have to offer is going to come across as trite at best.

Want to know what we want? We want someone to mourn with us.  Though you could never fully enter in to someone's can for a moment...try.  You can cry with them. There is an odd comfort in knowing that someone is crying with and for you.

Don't worry...your tomorrow will be cheerier than theirs.  You'll get up and go about your day. It's momentary for you. It's ok to go there. And honestly? It's all we want.

Not your words. Not your wisdom. Not anything you are afraid you don't have to give.  Just someone to say "I'm so very sorry".

My dad had reminded me that Jesus did weep. At the death of His friend (even when He knew He was about to raise him from the dead...) He allowed Himself to go there.  To enter in to the pain of His friends...and weep.

And that's what I needed to know.  I actually longed for rain.  I wanted the sky to wail and lament with me.  I truly did. I hated that I woke to beautiful blue skies and sunshine as if all was well in the world...when in my world...? It was not.

The very best advice I could give...please take it from someone who has lived through unthinkable in Romans 12:15. Rejoice with those who rejoice...mourn with those who mourn.

I remember calling my friend and we both just sat on the phone and sobbed.  She said nothing that I recall. I could just hear her sobs.  And somehow that lessened my pain.

Can you be the one to cry with your friend who is suffering? You don't need the gift of words, lots of money or anything just need to be willing to enter in to their pain and...weep. Mourn.

My friend sent me this song today...


  1. 8 years ago I too went through some unimaginable grief. How I got through it while still getting up daily and being a mom to my boys I still don't know, such a cloud of deep deep emotions. You said it so perfectly all you have to do is be there for someone when they are mourning. Saying nothing hurts 10 times worse! Janice I have followed your blog for sometime and I pray for you daily. So happy you had a friend to just listen to the sobs...sometimes that's enough.

  2. I lost my daughter at age 11 in a car accident, and that horrible experience opened up my eyes to what a grieving mother needs. Since then I have had a handful of friends and acquaintances that have lost children, and even though it is still hard for me to enter that grief again, I find that just being there, telling them how sorry you are for them, and letting them talk or cry through their grief is the best thing you can do. Also, I try to find something helpful to do for them, because even though people say "let me know what you need", when you are overwhelmed with grief, it's sometimes just to hard to even ask for help. Tell them you will come over and address the thank you notes from the funeral, bring over a couple bags of groceries, give their other kids an invitation to your house to play and give mom some alone time, drop off a meal or a gift certificate for take out. Sometimes, we try to guard ourselves from that type of raw emotion and avoid people who are grieving, but when you are the griever, you realize how special that gift can be- people leaving their comfort zone and entering into the grieving with you.

    1. Oh my heart, Michelle. I'm so sorry. 😢😢. Yes- you are so right. I couldn't process anything but the field who just delivered coffee or movie tickets so we could all get out...was amazing.

  3. I remember when my father died and I couldn't get home for the funeral. It was so hard to deal with the loss from afar and when I did get home, his absence was so real to me but many "friends" didn't say anything at all. It was so hurting and they probably just didn't know what to say. But a hug and a cry together definitely does help -- and it sure shows who your true friends really are! Still praying for you!

  4. Mourning stinks! We are about to enter into a time like this in the coming months as we move our child into a new place as we realize we cant address her needs anymore. Our child came into our family and has for years caused a major division in our family. We have all suffered so much and sadly majority of our suffering has come from people attacking us. Our child was diagnosed with major severe disabilities...lifelong ones that people refuse to accept as truth. While we'd love things to be different moving on is the only way we know to get our family back and yet we know that losing a child the way it's happening to us, we will have to grieve that loss alone. Because it IS a loss as we never wanted it this way...and of coarse we pray daily that somehow God will change it..but wow it's hard. So grateful though for the people in our lives who DO get it and have chosen to come along side us during this time. Thanks Janice for being so open with your story, you are blessing so many through your pain!!! :)