Thursday, May 29, 2014

I am Sorry.

Yesterday, I found out that a friend had lost her father. As I wrote a message to her earlier, I thought about all of us who have lost someone. As a friend, this is my letter to you. 

Dear Friend,
I am sorry for your loss. I am sorry that everything I say will seem empty, even though you will say thank you. I am sorry that I cannot fix it. I am sorry that I cannot bring back your loved one. I am sorry that I am not there to just cry with you. 
I am sorry that I will say something that will hurt you more than heal you. I am sorry that I will forget about your loss in the chaos of my own life. I am sorry that I will forget that you will still be dealing and reeling from this pain longer than I anticipate. 
I am sorry that you will face hard days to come. I am sorry that you will be distraught at birthdays, holidays, and special events that your loved one should have been in attendance for. I am sorry that many days, you will feel like this burden is yours and yours alone to bear. I am sorry that I will forget to help you bear that burden. I am sorry that you will feel alone. I am sorry that I will forget to say nothing, and forget to just sit with you and cry with you because that is what you need. 
Most of all, I am sorry that I, as a friend, will never be enough to help heal your heart that is broken.  
I am sure you feel a void right now, but one that isn't quite a void. I am sorry that you will be in shock for a little and that the reality of your loss will come at you like a tsunami. I am sorry that you may have felt like prayers for healing went unanswered. I am sorry that any hope you had for healing, has been diminished. I am sorry that saying they are with Christ, and with our Lord, will not help the fact that you can no longer hold them, or love them here. I may not know the extent of your loss, or even the challenges you will face with it, but I am sorry that you will face them.
I am writing this to let you know that it is okay. It is okay to be whammied by the suddenness of loss. It is okay to question God on why He allowed this, is it okay to wonder what His plan is. Please, do not question that He does have a plan. When we question His ultimate goal, we can learn His purpose. When we question His goodness in order, we question our faith. When our faith is questioned by us, it is shaken by us. Do not give Satan the opportunity to shake you. 
I am sorry that you will start to see people acting normal again, way before you are ready to. I am sorry that you will feel like screaming "Doesn't ANYONE REMEMBER?!". That's okay. The grieving process is different for everyone, and if you need more time, that is okay. Don't let anyone tell you differently. I trust you. I trust that you know the truth. I trust you know where our hope lies in life and in death. Because I trust you, I will not pressure you to be done with your grief before you are ready to be. The truth is this: you will never be done grieving. You will remember your loved one at the most random times, important times, and special times. Something someone says or does may remind you of them. I am sorry that you will be overcome with emotion in those times. I encourage you to not look at others' processes with the grief and wonder in your mind's eye how they can be doing so well. Comparison in this will leave nothing but inadequacy, dissatisfaction, and bitterness in your heart. I am sorry that you will have to let this circumstance refine you. 
I am sorry that some days you will feel like you have been fighting an unending war and you will be too tired to put your armor on. That is okay. On those days, remember that God has already won the war. Allow Him to shield you on these days, rest in Him on these days. He will take care of you, I promise. 
I am sorry that you will have good days, that might turn into bad ones. I am sorry that guilt might become a constant companion for awhile when you have good days. I am sorry that you will have awful, seemingly insurmountable bad days. I am sorry that I will more than likely not see those days. I am sorry that asking for help, or for a friend will become hard. I am sorry that you will feel like a burden on others. I urge you to remember that guilt is a tool of the enemy. I encourage you to remember that we have a God at whose feet we have the ability to lay down all of our burdens. I am sorry that this will be hard. 
I am sorry that you will need to be gracious with others that try to say the right thing to help, and instead hurt you more. I am sorry that you will have to remember that they will need to be gracious with you as well.  
My friend, it is okay to be hurt, it is okay to cry, it is okay to be confused, it is okay to still be grieving, it is okay to feel alone, it's okay to feel like no one understands, it is okay to not plaster a fake smile on your face, and it is okay to cry during any moments of worship or prayer. It is okay to display 'weakness'. There is amazing strength in weakness, my friend. Christ was weak in the Garden, but allowed himself to be refined and molded. He was physically weak on the cross. Weakness is where desperation for our Heavenly Father comes--weakness and broken hearted-ness is where He meets us, where He holds us, and where He continues to love us. I am sorry that this will be the hardest thing to remember most of all. 
I am sorry,
I remember feeling many of these things as Simeon and I were going through our own losses. Maybe not everything we went through will be the same for everyone, but still, my heart aches for my friend. I ache knowing that the grief isn't just neatly tied up with a pretty bow as it seems many would like it to be. It's messy. It's dirty. It brings up sins and parts of you, that you didn't even know you had. You may feel like less of a Christian because everyone says to trust and not to question. But when we question correctly, we get closer to the character of our Lord. May we always remember our actions compounded with others' grief. May we always strive for being their friend above being their 'fixer', or their personal 'judgement'. May we remember who God was to us in our darkest, and reflect it. I am sorry if this offends anyone. I am sorry if you don't agree with what I wrote. Most of all, I am sorry that yet another person who Christ and his family alike treasure, is no longer here. 

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