Sunday, May 8, 2011

How are you doing?

What a question to ask a grieving person. Bad, of course. Terrible, really. Did you expect something else?
 Of course not, but we just don't know how to ask what we really want to ask, and if we did ask, could the grieving ones bear it?

How are you doing?
How are you surviving?
How are you making it through the days? I am on the outside of your pain but I can only imagine how unbearable it is to be in your shoes and, please just give me a hint... HOW are you doing it? Are you still getting out of bed? Are you able to eat or to sleep? Do you know how often I think of you, pray for you? How do you stand after such a great grief, because I am on the outside and my knees are weak and I question and cry for you... so just how are you doing it?

Is God hearing me when I talk to him about you? Is He helping you bear that wound? I have asked him to a thousand times, more. Is He listening?
How are you doing it? Living alive, still, yet with such a wound?
I can only gape and stammer in front of it. Unable to fix, unable to relieve, unable to answer any questions.
Yet you STAND. Is that God's hand, holding you up?

I haven't been where you are, but I may be someday, and tell me, how is it done?
I do not see within myself the capability to survive such a thing. You must be getting help. Please tell me you are; tell me that help comes to those who need it.

I am on the outside and my questions are in whispers. Are yours screamed? Has He explained Himself to you?
Because He has not explained himself to me but I can't stop asking and wondering. Do you ask too?
And is there any way I can use my hands or prayers or pies or anything at all to help even just a little bit?

You are my elder, in the way of suffering, and your presence reminds me that my future will contain trials too... How will I be doing when I am not doing well?
What word of hope do you have for me, you who have been in that dark land where I will have to go some day?
But I cannot ask you to answer those questions for me.
You are too busy surviving, too busy eating your daily bread with tears and learning to walk all over again.

I mix tears with my bread too, when I think of you, when I see the sadness in this valley of death.

Jesus, hold us close. We wait for you. Here in this valley, we groan and we wait. Come quickly Lord, with healing, with promises fufilled, with resurrection.


  1. I hate it...not knowing what to say to someone whose experiencing grief. You'd think I could call up what people said to me and what did me the most good to hear. But somehow I'm never able to. But a long, strong hug can do wonders.

  2. I have been on the receiving end of this too.. not sure that words really do much good, but sympathetic presence does. Family and friends relentlessly making a person feel like they are cared-for- that can make all the difference.


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