For a week now I have been dreading that tomorrow would come. Not just any tomorrow, but tomorrow in particular. Tuesday January 26, 2010. But I've only been dreading this day for a week, I don't usually go about fearing for days to come.
But tomorrow, Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 10 a.m. I will be attending a funeral. A funeral for an 18 month old little girl. Tomorrow her parents will see her for the last time and lay your tiny body in the ground. Even typing those words sends an ache through my being. I can't even imagine this type of ache as my own.
Grief is such a paradox. We yearn for people to understand how we feel, and yet, its infuriating and it stings when someone tries to give a comparison. They turn the situation on to themselves, because it's more comfortable, its easier. It is the consistency in human nature that we feel the need to say to someone who is grieving "I understand what you're going through". Do you? Do you really? Can you fully taste the bitterness of what that my grief tastes like?!
Why are we incapable of just sitting, of embracing the silence, of embracing the ache. Why can't we just wrap our arms around someone and say, "I'm so sorry, there are no words...but I'm sorry."
Why do we feel the need to give stories that have no good comparison? Why do we feel the need to fill the silence? To muddle the ache with frivolous words and insensitive phrases.
My pastor said it perfectly that we "over estimate our words, and underestimate our presence."
when we grieve, when our souls ache the most, when we feel the most broken, all we really want is someone to embrace us, to hold us close. To let us scream, and cry, and beat our fists into the ground, and to say nothing, except....I'm sorry.
So tomorrow I pray that I will have the grace to do just that. To let Shelby's parents grieve how they need to, and that I will have less words to say and more presence to give.
So if you happen to read this, please pray for her parents. Their ache I cannot fathom, no parent should have to bury their child.
May God be gracious to us....and make His ways known. And for that which we cannot know, may we be at peace to let it be.