I can’t help but think that I have already attended five (5) wakes this year and it is only the first quarter.
During these occasions, we are not actually sure how to comfort the families who were left behind. It is easy to tell them to be strong and move on but we can never truly understand the sadness and emptiness that they are going through unless we’ve been through it.
In the last wake that I attended, a pastor who was also grieving shared two things that we can do to keep our sanity and go on with life. While the message was being shared, I can’t help but be reminded of a colleague who asked me to write about how to overcome grief but I didn’t pursue the thought because I am no guru when it comes to dealing with the matter. But I believe this message that the pastor shared can help ease the pain as it is coming from someone who is going through this painful life experience.
Here are the two things that he shared:
1) LOOK AHEAD:
According to the pastor, there is a tendency to stop moving because we tend to savor the good times that we’ve had with our loved one. The pastor suggested that we look at the time that we will soon be with our departed loved one and continue to finish our life race.
We should look at the finish line, press on with the journey and believe that at the end of it, our loved one will be there to congratulate us once we finish ours.
2) GET BUSY WITH THE LORD’S WORK
It is of great help that we commit ourselves to the Lord’s work. The Lord has given us our own life calling and it is his desire that we continue to live and fulfill it.
The pastor said that the grief that death brings can paralyze us. It is true that the pain will never go away but we can decide to dwell on the thought that we will meet them in His own sweet time.
Those are just two simple things. But simple as they are, he said that it is helping him go through the pain of loss.
Two days after that message, we received a call that our cousin died after drowning in the river. I haven’t had the chance to be close to him, but just the thought of him dying at such a young age shocked the family. Up to now and even after hearing the message, I still don’t know what to say to his mom and dad and his brother and sisters once I attend the wake.
But here are two (2) things that I realized after attending one wake after another:
1) Sometimes you just have to be present. The bereaved family may not notice that you are there but their loneliness will be eased if they see that a lot of their friends are there to comfort them. You don’t have to say anything if you are lost for words because no words need to be said in times like these.
“When someone is going through a storm your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words.” – Thema Davis
2) Sometimes a hug can help. Since I’m sure most of us don’t know what to say, sometimes a hug will do.
Remember, “A hug is worth a thousand words.” – Anonymous
I would like to end with this quote:
“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” ― Anne Lamott
and with this bible verse:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
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