To the Ones Who Stand Beside Me


There’s no handbook for this. No right or perfect way to navigate it. We are all around people who are grieving and affected by trauma every day. Since I have become one of those people, I am more aware than EVER of their presence and challenges.

We can be really annoying sometimes.  Often we are that distracted friend who doesn’t seem to be listening to you. . .

The one Who never texts you back.

The one who doesn’t make you feel as cared for as we used to.

We are in the car ahead of you. That car that hasn’t moved. . .

even though the turn signal changed FIVE seconds ago.

Sometimes we just can’t connect with you . . . sometimes those times come when you are the most excited to see us.

We can’t commit to that event you’re hosting and hoping we’ll attend. You don’t realize it but there will be ghosts there. . . triggers and danger packed unexpected spots . . .

and we’re not sure if we’re ready to navigate all of them.

Sometimes you try to “cheer” us up and we clearly resent you for it.

Often times we are distant.  A million miles away yet sitting right beside you.

We are happy you are happy – – that your world remains untouched by the deep gashes that have hit ours.  We don’t want to burst all your beautiful bubbles by taking you on a million mile journey that we ourselves wish we hadn’t been forced to travel.

So thank you.  Thank you for loving us right where We are. Just as we are.

For accepting that so often I find myself in a place I’ve never wanted to be.

For noticing That sometimes we aren’t attending the same event.

For realizing that my table is often set with sorrow and longing in the presence of your feast of great joy.  Thank you for understanding some of the most joyful things are also the most painful.  These are tight, tight spaces.  Thank you for loving me in each of them.

On the days that my body gives way to grief – – thank you for coming into agreement with it.  Thank you for understanding that this – – the weeping, longing, pain filled days are actually. . .






Thanks for telling others that I’m strong and brave and amazing on these days . . .

Because so many label these days as bad and decide that I’m “not doing too good” because of them.

Thank you for listening lunches. Thank you for purposeful prayers.

Thank you for wine filled glasses and being patient enough to wait however long it takes for tears to turn to laughter.

Thank you for all that it takes to remind yourself that this will not expire. . .

That my beautiful roads will always have some permanent pot holes.

Thank you for saying her name – – for letting me know when circumstances and surroundings remind you of her.

Thank you for accepting that while grief is a permanent part of my life – – it doesn’t define me.

Thanks for seeing me whole when I’m broken. For believing I’ll rise when I’ve fallen. For knowing that my restoration is a masterpiece over time that stands still – – not an instant.

Thank you for letting me roast in savoring juices according to Gods holy recipe.  Thanks for not trying to put my grief in a microwave.  For my heart would be so very tough and unevenly tempered in a “nuked ” state.  Thanks for doing all you can to make sure I come out with a tender, juicy, evenly healed heart.

It’s a heart that will love you forever. A heart of flesh being filled with a new spirit. A grateful heart that loves you and thanks God for the flexible yet unwavering way that you love me.


The One Who Grieves Beside You

And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

Rejoice with those who Rejoice; Mourn with those who Mourn. Romans 12:15


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