much much later

Greif and anguish aren't easy to witness. Usually we need to do enough in response to make ourselves feel better. Send a card. Offer our prayers, and then thank our God that it wasn't us.
But after the initial shock, it is just easier to forget.
I don't think we really forget, but it is just so hard to know what to say when something goes horribly wrong.
The test results come back positive.
A loved one is lost.
or yet another friend is laid off.
The moment forces us to respond. And most of us do. Sometimes well. Sometimes not.
That isn't the moment I am talking about.
I mean the one 2 weeks later. Or a month later or even a year.

For example, almost a year ago my neighbor lost her husband. I brought flowers and later food. But still every time I see her my heart breaks a little. I often think I need to inviter her over for dinner, or at least stop by and chat. Instead the most I usually do is wave across the driveway. A little too eagerly.

But I have another friend who lost a baby six months or so ago. Which I imagine to be the most miserable kind of ache. It would be real easy to send her flowers. Squeeze my babies a little bit tighter when I tuck them in at night and move on. Easier to forget simply because I can.
But I just can't seem to.
We are old friends, and until this hadn’t hardly spoken in years.
So it would be especially easy to not know.
To not think about her.
To not check her facebook status.
I am thinking this is probably the socially acceptable thing to do.
Maybe if I am really good, I could add her to my "prayer list".
Well, let me be honest.
I don't really have a prayer list.
Yes, I pray.
But I usually forget who and what I am supposed to be praying for before accidentally falling asleep.

But these women have been pressed on my heart.
Which sounds like a real churchy phrase, but I don't know how else to say it. Because you see I am not that kind of friend. I'm not naturally good at being mushy or nice and it makes me so uncomfortable. But sometimes you just can’t help it.

God has called us to bear each others burdens.

So go back in your brain a few months to when that friend or neighbor was going through something unbearable.
and remember that they still are.
even if they are back to smiling in public.
Their heart is still a bit broken.
and remember them.
Stop in. Say hi. Send a card. Buy them coffee.
Let them know that you didn't forget either.


Corinne said...

Always better late than never, and even then I don't think it's ever easy to stretch out that hand.

Wheezer said...

We really do need to inviter her over for dinner. I should just cook out this summer when it gets warm and let the kids play and eat in the driveway a few times and have her come out.