Friday, October 11, 2019

Everyone around you is grieving. Go easy.

"Unless anyone passing by looked deeply into my bloodshot eyes or noticed the occasional break in my voice and thought enough to ask, it’s not like they’d have known what’s happening inside me or around me. They wouldn’t have had any idea of the gaping sinkhole that had just opened up and swallowed the normal life of the guy next to them in the produce section."  John Pavlovitz

I thought similar thoughts this past week as we watched and waited with our son who has brain cancer.  The temporary assistant pastor at Phil’s church who has been visiting him—her husband died 8 months ago, and her tenderness and caring helps her grieve.  Our own Pastor Dave who came to the hospital through the terrible fog to pray with us the morning of surgery—both his own son and grandson, child of another son, died the summer of 2018. A friend from high school days who came to the hospital to see Phil who is going through a painful divorce—the death that never ends.  My cousin Gayle who faithfully ministers to a small group of women who are prayer warriors and whose husband died after a long illness. My neighbors who are struggling with this same disease in their 33 year old daughter-in-law, mother of 2 toddlers. Adrienne, my long time library colleague and coffee buddy who had hip surgery this week and is caring for her husband who has Parkinson’s Disease.  Sweet Annie and dear Sonja, both battling different forms of cancer in their 40s whose parents (my age) have to stand aside and let them decide. My sister-in-law at 83 driving her husband to dialysis 3 times a week and watching him change before her eyes.

Everyone is grieving.  Just be kind.

“Parents whose children are terminally ill.
Couples in the middle of divorce.
People grieving loss of loved ones and relationships.

Kids being bullied at school.
Teenagers who want to end their lives.
People marking the anniversary of a death.
Parents worried about their depressed teenager.

Spouses whose partners are deployed in combat.
Families with no idea how to keep the lights on.
Single parents with little help and little sleep.”

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