I don't feel qualified to write this post, as comforting grieving people has always been an awkward ordeal or me. but I know I can share some of the blessings I've experienced through some of my trials that have been wonderful for us as a family.
I immediately called a few close friends and texted family the day we found out we had lost the baby. I can't imagine losing a baby full term, or delivering a stillborn, or losing a child, but for me, even losing a little 8 week old fetus was enough to put me in a tailspin. here are a list of angelic acts we have been so lucky to receive:
1. drop off food. we had so many friends just showed up, stuck the food in the freezer and left. as a family of 6, those frozen meals have been heaven sent on days where I thought I was doing better, and by 3pm, I most certainly was not. fresh meals were amazing too and definitely help, but a frozen meal I still feel like I'm doing something, and my kids are always awkward when people bring meals. so is my husband. this time I just let people do it because we definitely needed it, but there is still something to be said for frozen meals.
2.drop off flowers. I can't imagine anyone NOT loving fresh flowers, so it's a safe bet to just take some flowers. again, no pressure to talk or discuss, no tears, just drop off.
3. send a note or card. some of these have been hard to read, because they'll bring up emotions. but the love sent with them is palpable and my family all appreciates it. I know my husband and I are floored by the outpouring of love we've received.
4. send a text. just that you are thinking about them and sending them love. I didn't think I'd appreciate it, but somehow knowing people are mourning with you has been very comforting. that has been helpful for me because I'm usually the "funny" one during times of trial or sickness. I didn't realize how much people need just heartfelt honesty during this time
**SIDE NOTE** please don't put your sadness on to your friend that is grieving. there is a difference between mourning with someone and then making the mourning more about you than them. I don't know if that makes sense, but there is a big big big difference. "my heart is aching for you" is a lot better than "my heart is aching" or "I can't stop crying for you". those tend to be open ended statements where the griever ends up having to console you and tell you it's going to be ok. I've definitely been guilty of this act, because I didn't know any better, so it's also easier to take it in stride, because they are just doing their best to comfort you, but if you can learn from this, then that's helpful right!?
5. just show up. don't wait for them to say it's ok to show up, just try. although the first few days I really wasn't up to talking to anyone, in hindsight I can see that it would have been good to talk. just show up and listen. don't give advice unless they ask. just listen and love. that really goes a long long long way. they can always say no, and if they don't open the door just leave a card or treat. which brings us to our next one,
6. treats. if it's a momma that's grieving, that means there is a household of littles and a hungry husband grieving also. cookies and treats have been AMAZING. sure, we are eating our feelings, but it's been delicious!
and most importantly...
7. PRAY for your friend. pray for her children. pray for her spouse. if you are uncomfortable doing the above, or have already done them, please pray for them. prayers are real and they are POWERFUL. I can feel the prayers of our friends and families lifting us up on the hard days. I can see tender little miracles all over in our lives. and if you can't pray, pray for the willingness to pray. or pray to know if prayer works or not. if you ask, you'll receive an answer. it's really that simple.
I did have friends that went above and beyond, helping with sports and dance drop off and pick up, dropping off party decorations, helping at the party, cleaning up when I told them not to, picking up from school, sending me funny memes, and even friend who dropped off 20 filled party bags for my daughters birthday! Talk about angels on earth, and all of those things are incredibly helpful and I can tell they were close to the spirit and guided in those actions. they weren't "trying" to be good friends, they just did what was right in the moment.
I am inspired by these women and men who have reached out. because I can't discount the men who have privately texted my husband with words of mourning and encouragement. those have been huge testaments to us of how powerful we are when we support each other. I can't wait to feel better and stay close to the spirit of Christ and let Him guide me to where I need to be and who I need to serve. I am so grateful for this opportunity to grieve, because I know it will help me to help others even more. that is no small thing.
what are your thoughts? anything to add? what's something special someone has done for you?