Friday, June 15, 2012

Shared Sorrow

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."  
2 Corinthians 1;3,4  (KJV)

When something is shared by two it is divided...in half.
When it is shared by more than two, it is divided smaller....into equal parts.

There is something valuable about shared sorrow.
Actually, there is something invaluable about it.
Shedding tears...over the same grief....is powerful.

I thought of how I was expecting Zachary when God called my dear Dad home.
How those months were some of the most bittersweet months of my life.
How I struggled with wondering why God would take Dad before he got to meet Zachary.

And how when Dad died, Mom was there....
to help all of us cope, get through it, and adjust to life without him.
She shared our sorrow.
She grieved as we grieved.
We cried together.
Somehow, it helped.

Tonight, Kevin and I spent a lot of time talking.
Reminiscing over the past.
Thinking about Mom...and Dad.

I cannot believe they are both gone.
There is a part of my mind that will not....can not....wrap itself around the concept.

"I'm glad I got to know them so well", he softly said.

"Me, too."

It means so much to me right now to know that Kevin shared so many years of my life while Mom and Dad were still here.
He loved them.
He comprehends my love for them.
He was a live witness...of the deep connection we cherished and lived out day by day.
He remembers so many things.
He understands so many emotions.
He relates on the deepest of levels.
He shares my sorrow.
He misses them, too.

He had a deep bond...with both of my parents....that time strengthened and deepened.
In-laws are an integral part of life.
They are the express reason we have the ones we love the most.

During this time of deep grief, Mom is not here to help see us through.
Missing her is the reason for our deep grief.
But, this time, we have someone else.
God, in His infinite mercy and wisdom and perfect timing,
gave us the sweetest, most precious little fellow to share our sorrow.
We didn't have his gentle comfort the last time.

I am not expecting him...waiting for him....during this season of grief.
He is here.....he has blessed our home and our lives.....
every, single day for the past eleven years.

I never cease to be amazed at the amount of comfort one can find...in a child.
Their innocent understanding is so sincere...so genuine.

Zachary misses his Nana.
She meant the world to him.
He absolutely meant the world to her.
He shares this with us...all of it.

I have told him that I believe she garnered strength to get out of bed each day...
through the sole hope that perhaps she would get to see him before its close.

I am so thankful for my four siblings.
We gather strength from each other.
And though I don't get to see three of them often,
it is such a comfort to talk on the phone and keep in touch.
They are dealing with their own grief....but it is the same as mine.
Somehow, they are even more precious to me now.

Sorrow shared is sorrow divided.
Somehow it helps.
Somehow it dulls the sharpness of the pain....to know that we are all in the same battle.
That we understand...each other's pain of heart.

Today's passage calls God the God of all comfort.
It tells us that He comforts us in all our tribulation.
Why?
So that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble....
through the very same comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

I thank God for the many people who have reached out to me...in this time of deep sorrow.
They have comforted me by telling me how God saw them through.
They have opened their hearts to me....shared their stories...shared their hearts....
shared my sorrow.

They have cried with me, reminisced with me, prayed with me, held my hand, wrapped me in warm, comforting hugs, allowed me to soak their shoulders with tears, mailed cards and gifts, sent flowers, emailed, and called, listened while I fell apart...time after time.

I got a surprise box in the mail the other day.
Inside the box was a beautiful purple flower arrangement my dear friend, Wanda had personally made,
and in it she had placed beautiful silk butterflies.
On the front was a note that said it was in memory of Mom.
She poured out her heart into the words of the card she enclosed.
She told me how much she loved Mom and Dad and spoke of her memories with them.
It meant so much.

My dear cousin and cherished friend, Julie, lent me the most wonderful book.
It is about angels and how they are all around us.
I am enjoying reading it...soaking it in.
It confirms God's Word and is such a sweet reminder of the faithfulness of God
and the angels He faithfully places in our lives.

I believe I am experiencing many of them....
through the hands, feet, and hearts of the many who love us
and who continue to show His love to us on a regular basis.

Each act of kindness and love divides our sorrow.
It makes it seem less.....a bit lighter.
It makes it more bearable.

"Father, thank you for dividing our sorrow by filling the hearts of others with compassion.
Thank you for their obedience to you in reaching out when we need it the most.
Thank you for the comfort of shared sorrow.
In Jesus' Name,
Amen."

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