Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Peace to the broken hearted

One of my very dearest friends in life is watching her loved-one pass.

I want so much to say or do something that would just make everything "OK". I wish I could have a magic pill to make her loved one heal and live.

And when I try to put myself in her shoes, to imagine exactly what she is going through, I can't breathe.

The difference between sympathy & empathy is that when you empathize, you have a first-hand knowledge of the person's plight.

I can't "officially" empathize. I have been fortunate to have not experienced that kind of loss-- yet.

I know I will someday. And that knowledge shapes my days: I make myself take the extra 10 minutes to tuck the kids in bed even though I have laundry to do; I take scads of pictures at family events; I try to tell the people I love how much they mean to me.

It also makes me feel guilty if I don't take advantage of each and every second: When I lose my temper because I'm tired; When I wish the kids were back in school at the end of the summer; When I hold on to petty grudges; When I feel I've hurt someone.

My heart is heavy for my friend & her family. I'm tired, but I can't sleep. Instead, I hurt for her.

I try for a moment to imagine myself in her situation. I am overwhelmed. I can't allow myself to go to that place for more than a moment.

I pray that when that time is real, I have the grace she has. And that I'm able to guide my family and friends as she does.

I know with all my heart that this life is a blink of the eye before heaven is forever. I know we will see everyone again there. But the missing of a friend or loved one until we see them on the other side can leave you empty, tired, angry. I pray that I am full of hope, love, grace and peace, as my friend is now.

And I pray that God holds them in the very palm of His hand, close to His heart, breathing every breath with them, letting them grieve but giving them hope so they may feel joy again.

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