For 66 years, I have stood on the "other side," observing my friends and family endure the anguish and grief of losing a loved one. My desire to help them, to say the appropriate words, to express the ache that hurts my heart, and to be willing to somehow carry some of their burdens and ease their pain has always been present. Sometimes, I was successful, reaching out and touching the wound and showing a little bit of comfort. But sometimes, I found myself at a loss for words or actions, so I stayed silent.
Now, I find myself experiencing the same grief I have observed in others. I feel the heartache of a mother who lost her only child and the pain Naomi experienced, and the anguish Job endured. My precious daughter, Texa, is gone, and the brutal and painful reality of losing someone so dear to me is overwhelming.
I have nothing to say. I cannot fully express my feelings; only God knows the depth of my pain, loneliness, and grief. Losing a loved one makes you realize how alone you are and how the moments of love and tenderness you shared will never be the same. I wish I could put my feelings into words, but they escape me.
My deepest desire was to experience a joy-filled life with my daughter by my side. However, fate had other plans in store for me. The unexpected turn came so suddenly that I did not realize they were coming until tragedy struck.
I now struggle with the enormous responsibility of saying goodbye to my child on this side of eternity. The weight of this sorrow burdens my heart, body, and spirit, making each step feel like I am walking through quicksand. But amid this darkness, some brave people reached out to me and offered kind words, warm hugs, and prayers, providing me strength and comfort. As I walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, these actions were like lights in the darkness, bringing hope to my heavy heart and encouraging my weary body.
God knew we should not walk alone in moments of grief, so God made a place for us. He felt the pain of walking alone, and He knew that we needed others to walk beside us in our grief to help ease the pain.
The Bible says, "Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). It is tempting to distance oneself from someone when their world is dark due to the discomfort it brings. However, Jesus calls us to walk with those in pain, supporting those who have lost hope and helping those who have fallen. It is important to remember that there are no magic words to erase heartache. The most meaningful gesture is simply being present.
Isn't that why Jesus came? We are most like our Savior when we are willing to leave our comfortable spaces and enter the ominous world of other people's pain.
Sometimes it is necessary to stay by someone's side and say comforting words to heal their wounded heart. It can also offer comfort through gentle touch or simply sitting beside them and sharing their tears. Whatever way you choose to empathize with another's pain, the impact of spoken words is immeasurable. Finding comfort in the reassurance of God's Word and the presence of others can go a long way toward relieving feelings of loneliness and sadness. Together, these two sources of support can lift a sad and grieving heart.
Remember, you are never alone in your pain. God and those who walk with you will help you share your burdens and bring light and hope to your heart.