On July 4, my brother left this earth and received the beloved freedom promised by the Father to His children. It was difficult to say the very least, gut-wrenching even. And at times, I cried uncontrollably.
My son came in the room that day, sat down softly on the bed beside me – really close beside me – and put his hand on my leg. We sat for a long time like that as he looked straight ahead and didn’t say a word.
We never really know the right words when someone is grieving, do we?
One of my friends got pregnant when I was in high school and, subsequently, lost her baby. My mom asked, “Are you going to see her?”
“I don’t think so. I don’t know what to say,” I replied.
She said, “Well then...go and don’t say anything.”
That simple, yet profound, wisdom struck me solidly in the heart. “Go and don’t say anything.”
The next day, I drove to my friend’s house, walked inside, said hello, and sat on the couch beside her. Her family moved around us, completing the day’s activities; a couple of relatives stopped by, chatting in hushed tones. I simply sat beside my friend and didn’t say a word. Later, as I got up to leave, she reached for me, hugged me tightly. Then, with tear-glistened eyes, she whispered, “Thanks for coming.”
When my father died, we gathered with family in my parents’ living room to plan the memorial service. At one point, overcome with emotion, I fled the room, retreating to our front porch and the cool, dark evening. My uncle and cousins looked up at me sympathetically. Without hesitation, my aunt reached out and I sank gratefully into the soft, gentle folds of her sweater. The darkness and night insects sat still with us as she held me close and rocked and hummed.
My friend, please don’t underestimate the power of being there and just sitting.
My beautiful brother passed away. And my heart was consoled because my boy sat with me and didn’t say a word.
August 10, 2021