4. Remember to Check In, Even Months and Years Later
Slide 4 of 4
It’s been six years since my Uncle passed away. He passed in the middle of February. My son’s birthday is at the beginning of the month, and a year after he passed I gave birth to my daughter. The date of his passing is now encircled with birthday parties and celebrations.
Nonetheless, right around the anniversary of his passing I find myself extra tired, sad, and heavy feeling.
Even when I forget the that the date is coming up in my mind my body does it’s best to remind me.
A friend of mine whose first child was stillborn grieves not only on the date that she lost him, but also around the time that his birthday would have been. A friend who was in a horrific car accident struggles with anxiety and fear just about the same time of her accident every year.
These rhythms are not a surprise. In fact, if we have suffered from grief or if we have a friend who suffers, remembering these dates and seasons of time can help aid in our own and their continued healing.
Being intentional to remember those dates for the people who we are the closest to can help them to feel free to grieve around the anniversaries of their loss. During those anniversaries we can show up for our friends in incredibly simple but thoughtful ways.
We can drop by flowers or a coffee or a card of encouragement. Focus on actions that will lift your friend up and give her life.
We are called to carry eachother's burdens.
Often times, walking alongside someone who is in a season of suffering requires emotional energy and fortitude. It is true, that sitting with those who suffer can become draining or emotionally exhausting.
Nonetheless, as Galatians 6:2 prompts we are to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
While being present with someone who is suffering can break our hearts it can also bless us. As strange as it is to say, I was blessed by getting to sit was my Aunt in her season of suffering. I grew through that process and learned better how to show up and be present for my friends if and when they’re in a season of suffering.
Rather than backing away from our friends who suffer we have an incredible opportunity to show up and love well. In the words of Jesus in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Let’s be a people who are known by our love.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Jae Park