One temptation I’ve had on this journey of suicide grief is to isolate myself from people. Some days I feel too sad to be around those who are glad. And pretending is hard.
I’ve also felt tempted to say “fine” when people ask, “How are you doing?” But I don’t want to lie.
And for those who haven’t known that my loved one died or how and ask, “What’s new?” I’m tempted to say “nothing” instead of being honest and answering, “My heart’s breaking; here’s why…”
I’ve discovered as I resist these temptations that just as drawing near to God during times of grief brings comfort, so does drawing close to people–especially those who know the Lord.
God has used so many people to bring me comfort. Their words, their hugs, their beautiful sympathy cards, their taking the time to listen and to pray, their crying with me and for me have so touched my heart. Because of this, I don’t feel alone in my grief.
As I’ve been transparent about my thoughts and feelings, others have done the same with me. One lady that I was honest with about my grief admitted that in her family there were three suicides, and she herself had battled depression and suicidal thoughts. Because I now know this, I feel bonded with her. She understands how I feel.
A friend at my Bible study said, “I know the pain of a sudden, tragic death. My brother was murdered years ago.” I’ve known her for a long time, but didn’t know this fact about her life. She also understands my grief.
Yes, opening up about tragedy has caused others to be open about their heartaches—about their grief and loss. Instead of just having people help me in my grief, we lift up each other. We are connecting at our points of pain.
Whenever I’ve pondered 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, I’ve thought mostly of me comforting others. But these days I’m on the receiving end of people comforting me with the comfort they’ve received.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
And I’m also still on the giving end. As I receive comfort from God directly or through His people, those with new griefs and losses cross my path. And God gives me the privilege of offering them comfort—even in the midst of my own grief.
Somehow that brings relief to my grieving heart.
God is so good.
Do you agree?
To hear more about Letting People Help Us Grieve on the “Hearts Set Free with Elaine” radio show, go to www.wtis1110.com and press “Listen Live” at 5:30pm EST on Saturday, April 21, 2012.