Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Helping a Widowed Heart

Psalms 34:18 "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;"  "I KNOW He is close to the brokenhearted."- These were the words spoken by one of my dear friends, recently widowed.

She is a testimony of God being present in her life. I have never seen such peace and such a solid relationship with Jesus as I have seen in her.  When asked about bitterness, she said "What do I have to be angry with God about?  He is such a good God and He loves and takes care of me."  She doesn't blame God at all; instead she is just grateful for the memories and times she has had with her husband. 

She is doing wonderfully well, while we, her friends, are not quite sure what to do. We have made some blunders and mistakes but we are just trying to love her through this time of trial.  So, I asked her to help us. 

#1. Watch your words.
I asked her, what do you say?


There really are no words that will help the situation. Especially if you have not "been there", it is hard to understand. Many times, if you just sit and listen, it means so much to these dear ladies.  They need you.  Don't ignore them, doing nothing. Go to them, sit with them and listen. 

#2.  Don't ask, Are you ok?
Of course they are not ok!

...most of time they will give a short and sweet answer but truly they have lost the one whom their soul loved. 

My friend Cheri mentioned that when reality hits her it's like the breath is literally sucked out of her body.  Her whole body is racked with grief and she just wants to lay on the floor until she can get through the moment.

Yes, she is strong and, yes, she has the peace of God and the hope of eternity and of one day seeing the one she loves again, but for now, she misses him and the grief hits her hard.  She is not ok!!!

#3. Words again.
JUST BE SO CAREFUL WITH YOUR WORDS!!!!  Telling a widow that she needs to get on with life OR find a new life OR that she will get over it OR that things are going to be a certain way is just painful. The best response is NO response.  LISTEN!

#4. Don't say "Call me if you need something."
Unless you are her mother or best friend, the grieving person is not going to call you if they need something.  Instead, say, "Hey, I am going to the store and I want to pick you up some groceries...what can I get you?"  Be specific.

#5.  If you are going to bring over a meal, ASK what they like. 
So many people have the BEST of intentions and so they cook a meal for a grieving family. However, if the grieving family does not like the food that was prepared, it's not much of a blessing. 

#6. Ask them to hang out with you. 
It's really hard to transition back into the world after they have lost their soulmate. They were so used to having someone to be with and now the loneliness is overwhelming. Help them get out of their house. 
"I'm running out to Target to do a little shopping, do you want to come with me."
"I am putting together some baskets for the church, can you help?"

#7.  Remember special days and send a note. 
This is going to be a really hard day for them. Whether it's a birthday or anniversary, DON'T ignore it. That will only add to the loneliness.  Send a note or text or even ask them to go to lunch.
"Hey sweetie, I know this is an important day. I am praying for you today."

Ladies, I am a fixer. It is hard to sit back and not to fix the situation.  However, God is doing something big in the lives of our grieving friends. We need to pray for discernment and tread carefully. 

Whatever you do, do not walk away from your friend.  She has just lost a big part of her life and does not need to lose more.  Pray for her, love her and be there for her. - Rejoicing in the Present

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