While shopping for a sympathy card today I was amazed at the amount of cards that wished the grieving person “STRENGTH” in his or her time of loss. Living in our society, to me this says “wishing you the ability to go on like nothing ever happened, to keep your eyes dry, to not make anyone else too uncomfortable, and certainly to not feel anything.”
How about a card that says this:
Wishing you TRUE STRENGTH in this time of loss.
The STRENGTH it takes to be vulnerable.
The STRENGTH it takes to allow yourself to cry.
The STRENGTH it takes to enter into the incredibly painful grieving process.
The STRENGTH that comes with the courage to question the meaning of life and suffering and loss.
The STRENGTH it takes to ask friends for help because you’re overwhelmed with the pain.
The STRENGTH it takes to allow yourself to stay in bed or miss work or not clean the house.
The STRENGTH it takes to question God’s goodness.
And the STRENGTH it takes to allow yourself to melt like a puddle on your kitchen floor because you simply don’t know what else to do.
Today I wish you that STRENGTH, and when you run out, I offer you mine- not in doing for you or taking care of you- but in grieving with you.