I just read some articles about dementia. Guess what; the sufferers described how their friendships had changed.
“It’s not catching,” said one man. “I can still hold a conversation, but my friends don’t come around like they used to.”
I had the very same experience when my husband died. People who we’d known for decades, simply disappeared. No cards, no letters no phone calls, no contact at all.
What is friendship anyway?
The dictionary defines it this way: Friendship is a mutual feeling of trust and affection and the behavior that typify relationships between friends. Friendship is a relationship between people, organizations, or countries that is characterized by mutual assistance, approval, and support.
So I guess those disappearing ‘friends’ were never our friends to begin with. Honestly, I wish they’d let me know sooner…
Thankfully, we can have a better kind of friendship.
The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you. (2 Corinthians 13:14, MSG)
Of course, than we have to be his friend too.
Prayer – Father, help us be caring friends, especially during hard times. Amen
God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, I’m about to take from you the delight of your life—a real blow, I know. But, please, no tears. Keep your grief to yourself. No public mourning. Get dressed as usual and go about your work—none of the usual funeral rituals.”I preached to the people in the morning. That evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I’d been told. (Ezekiel 24:15-17, MSG)
And every time I read it, I ask myself these questions. Do I have that kind of obedience in me? Why/ why not? Why do I prolong my personal pain by neglecting God’s words to me?
And then I pray something like this.
Prayer – Lord God, Father of the entire universe, oh Lord God, help me to be as obedient as Ezekiel… because I want to serve you wholeheartedly, more than anything in the world. Help me to live that way, dear God. For Christ, who did. Amen
“If I were in your shoes, I’d go straight to God, I’d throw myself on the mercy of God. After all, he’s famous for great and unexpected acts; there’s no end to his surprises. He gives rain, for instance, across the wide earth, sends water to irrigate the fields. He raises up the down-and-out, gives firm footing to those sinking in grief. (Job 58-11, MSG)
Christmas is a difficult time for the grieving. Let them grieve in their own way, but let them know you are willing to help them with things like decorating or baking. Take them shopping. Invite them to your holiday functions. Volunteer together at a food bank, collect for a charity or help in a soup kitchen.
Do not tell them to ‘get over it.’ Be willing to sit with them when they cry. Let them talk about their loved one. Send cards or letters. Phone or text often.
Why? Just because you can represent the loving care of Christ to someone who needs it.
My eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you. (Psalm 88:9, NIV)
Prayer-Father, help us help others through their pain, for so often, you have done the same for us. In Christ, Amen.
Whoever survives a test, whatever it may be, must tell the story. That is his
duty.” Eli Wiesel
The second anniversary of Ron’s passing (August 22) and I woke the day after, with these thoughts.
“Now it is year three. How will I ever get through another year?”
But I know that I will, because God gives me grace and my friends and family give me patience and listening ears…
Brenda J Wood
He’s lost,” I say, discouraged. “Jeremiah’s lost”
“Don’t ever think that,” my mother says. “He’s not lost. He’s just gone to stay with someone with a bigger tub.”
“Are you sure?” I ask, brightening a little.
(The Shoe Box Bible, by Alan Bradley, McClelland & Stewart Ltd, Toronto, Canada, page 79)
I miss my husband so much, but with God’s help, I’ve released him to the larger tub of Heaven because there he’s found the freedom of fulltime living with Christ.
Who have you lost? Are you still yearning for them? Will you release them to a larger tub?
‘For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. (Luke 15: 24a, NIV)
The shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good ‘Thank you, Jesus.’
Prayer- Lord, forgive us for hanging on to what we cannot have. Yours in Christ for larger tubs everywhere….Amen.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. ( Song of Solomon, 8:7b, AMP)
So the fact that I still struggle in my grief is not wrong, or unusual. The same is true for you. We loved deeply and we still do. Hugs to you all.
I never minded silence before. Surprising how deafeningly loud it is now.