How to offer comfort

I heard this beautiful piece on NPR back on December 19. One of many stories after the Sandy Hook tragedy, it speaks of the loss of a child, and how to be there for the grieving. (It references an interview with Eugene Peterson from December 15 as well.)

The story moved me very much when I heard it while making supper that night, and it’s been sitting in my drafts folder, waiting for me to have something to say about it. I’ve come up with nothing. I guess that’s okay, especially given that one of the main points of both interviews is the eloquence of silence in moments of grief.

Both are worth listening to and heeding, because we will all find ourselves helplessly facing grief, our own or someone else’s. Here is some wisdom to remember. Maybe posting this is a small tribute to the loss these families are still awakening to every day, as the rest of the world seems to move on.

2 thoughts on “How to offer comfort

  1. Silence, just being there for the grieving.
    I’m reminded of a story my mother told me from her own life. She became a widow suddenly at the age of 31. Mother had 3 small children. Her husband had drowned. During the 3 days before his body was found, mother was despondent, wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t speak, she lie in her bed weeping. She was aware of many people that were in her home, and those caring for her children. She knew some of them spoke to her, searching for the “right” words.
    But, there was 1 woman, she was actually the sister of a friend of mother’s. This woman sat on the edge of the bed near my mother and never said a word. But, she was there, and that was what my mother needed the most, a warm body near her that loved her and prayed over her in silence.

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