When you know someone who is going through the loss of a loved one, it can be difficult to know the right thing to say. I’ve been on the other side of this and let me tell you, it can be hard to know what to say or do sometimes. I’m not necessarily here to tell you what to say but I’d like to tell you what NOT to say.
About 5 minutes after my mom left this world, I received a text from someone saying, “Praise the Lord!” This person was referring to the fact that my mom was with Jesus. This is true, but let me tell you something. When you’re sitting next to your loved one’s bedside only minutes after they pass, it is not a “Praise the Lord” type of moment. Truthfully, it pissed me off. I wanted to call this person and tell them off. I felt truly hopeless at that moment. I didn’t want my mom to be with Jesus! I wanted her here, with me. I wanted to talk to her again and be with her until she was old. “Praise the Lord” is NOT the right response when someone just lost their loved one. Don’t argue with me either – I was just there, in that position. It is a very vulnerable place to be. You are not thinking clearly at this moment in time – especially if the way the person died was unexpected.
You know what meant the MOST to me? A dear friend who couldn’t be there with me got my text saying my mom had passed and she called me on the phone. She told me she was so sorry and she just sat on the phone with me and cried with me for the loss of my mom. You see, it’s not always what you SAY to someone – it’s your actions. She sat with me on the phone for over 2 minutes and just cried. She told me she loved me and would be praying for strength and peace.
I write this because I know it can be difficult to know what to do in these situations. My point is to just be there, whether in person or a phone call or text. Sometimes not saying anything at all, but just sharing in someone’s grief is the most powerful thing that you can do. That call felt like a hug from Christ Himself.
I dedicate this post to my dear friend, Myrtha. I love you.