Cry With Me
During our lifetime we all experience mountain-tops and valleys. It is in our greatest weakness that we tend to find our greatest strength. I have shared with you a life-altering and soul-changing experience in my Test of Character essay. I received an overwhelming response from you and many of you had questions. It seems that when we, ourselves, are in our own life and we see our loved ones walking in a valley that is so dark and so deep, we lose our ability to relate. We get scared and we do not know what to say or how to act. As a result, we don't say anything in fear of making the situation worse.
We don't extend the call or invite since we are just so unsure of our own selves, the foreign situation of loss, and how to manage our own inner stuff plus that of our friend.Well....I can say this: Just say that you don't know. Be honest. It is refreshing. Please don't think you need to heal us. You can't and you won't. You can, however, hold our hand and be there.
The best thing I can remember anyone saying to me is "I love you and I have no idea how to act or what to say except I am so sorry." That was it. Just plain honesty. Since many of you have asked me "what would have helped?" and my response to you was "Nothing", I went back into my journal and am sharing with you an entry I wrote for and eventually gave my best friend.
To those of you in your valley of loss I offer you this poem,
To One in Sorrow by Grace Noll Crowell:
Let me come in where you are weeping friend,
and let me take your hand.
I who have known a sorrow such as yours,
Can understand.Let me come in. I would be very still
beside you in your grief;
I would not bid you cease your weeping friend,
Tears bring relief.
Let me come in--I would only breathe a prayer,
And hold your hand,
For I have known a sorrow such as yours
To those of you who are longing to take the pain away from your loved one, I offer my journal entry so that perhaps you will begin to let go of the boundaries you set upon yourself and reach out.......and touch.
Cry With Me January 2002
"How are you?" you ask. I see the gentle concern filling your eyes and I begin to ache inside.
"Just fine," I answer hiding behind a smile.
"I'm not fine at all! Please hold me and make the pain go away!!" I want to cry out, searing pain-tears away from the fabric of my soul.
My heart feels paralyzed from my brother's death. but people keep telling my how 'together' I am, how strong and capable. And I am afraid to let even you know how fragile and broken I feel inside. I wish I would ask you to be there with me through some of the long days and nights....those sometimes endless nights. If I would call you would come, but I didn't know how to reach out for help.
If I could, I would say I need you. Please......cry with me. I need to cry, to know it is all right to feel such incredible sadness and loss. Put your arms around me and hold me while the pain-tears flow. Please do not be afraid to cry with me.
Share with me. Say his name. I won't feel worse if you mention him. I love to hear what he meant to you, to know the little things he did and said that brought laughter, joy, or even anger. When you share with me, for a moment, I see him through someone else's eyes. Adding your memories to mine makes me richer.
Listen to me. "Why did this happen to him? Where is god? how do I go on?" I am filled with all these questions we are told it is wrong to ask. I know you do not have the answers. There are no answers. But....somehow when you listen....it helps.
Pray for me. I ache to feel God's presence, to sense His comfort and love, but prayer eludes me. Pain eclipses all else right now. Hold me in your prayers while the healing comes.
Wait with me. Wait till I am ready to pick up the pieces of my life and go on. I know I am not my old self right now. Anger, anguish, tears, even laughter--my emotions are trapped on a roller coaster ride.
I know it is demanding to be my friend right now. forgive me for shutting you out. You have put an extra measure of love, patience and understanding into our friendship. I have not said it, but your love has given me something to hang on to. I thank you.
The next time you ask me how I am, I'll really try to say "I am hurting. I need you." But if the words still won't come, please look behind my smile and touch me.