A journey through grief is never easy. In fact, I have found all too many moments in the past two and a half years, since my beating heart was ripped out of my chest when my husband took his last breath. There are so many in fact, that mere words on a computer screen will never come close to be able to explain it all. The pain, the anguish, the misery, the loneliness, and the guilt that overtake my heart some days are indescribable. There are no words that will come close to tell you how many of these miserable moments I have, and there are certainly no words to help you understand how mixed each of the moments can be. Conflicted emotions of happiness and sadness, in guilt and pride, and most certainly the times of uncertainty constantly permeate my being.
Unfortunately, society tells us there is something to say, or do, in moments that do not constitute words of comfort. I know these moments are lined with well-intentions of friends, family, medical staff, and others who watch you go through times of turmoil. It is human nature to want to comfort others in times of despair, and attempt to do (or say) something that will make it better. I have also come to learn this: times I needed something the most, even relief from the pain, I knew there was no one, or nothing that could help me through grief. No one. Nothing. And, like a backhanded compliment, comments laced with good intentions, fell on ears and a broken heart that got insulted and angry instead.
These are a few of the comments, I have learned never to say to someone, even in their deepest pain. I have learned instead to say nothing at all.
- “Everything happens for a reason.”
- “God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
- “God needed Joe more than he was needed on Earth.”
Every single one of these comments made me infuriating mad. More so, as time continued to tick away and people repeated them more frequently. I have come to the conclusion people say these things, because they have heard them passed down. They repeat them without actually stopping to think of the merit behind them. Ultimately, in my own experience, there was no merit behind any of them. There was no reason for my husband to suffer so much, no reason that he didn’t get to raise his babies, or no reason that God needed Joe more than we did here on Earth. Instead, I looked for truth in my beliefs, and what the Bible actually said.
Just as in bad, there is good. There are so many moments that I literally feel my heart might burst. Watching our son play basketball on his pee-wee team in one moment, our daughter shining on the volleyball court, or the two of these precious babies together covering each other in laughter. These moments: there are no words that would come close to the joy and happiness they bring me. There are no sentences or fragments I can type to convince anyone else how happy my heart is in these moments. There are no words. Just pure joy radiating in the silence.
You see, words are my comfort. I enjoy writing, I love to talk with others, and I most definitely like to comfort others in their sorrow. Already being on the other side of feeling the need to comfort others in grief, I remind myself constantly there are no words. The act of just being there, in physical presence is enough. Listen to others as they pour out their heartache and sorrow. Wipe their tears away from their tear-stained cheeks. Embrace their hug with sincerity and love and comfort. Cheer, smile, and laugh when they are celebrating the great times in their life. Share life with each other.
Your actions speak so much louder. There are no words. Sometimes there simply are no words.
All My Love in Silence, Kristina