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Help friends through the pathway of paincomment (0)

March 2, 2006

By Betty Baggott

I write this article on the anniversary of my husband Bob’s death six years ago. Death’s timing is indeed a mystery. He was much too young, in my estimation, to be taken away.

Yet as I reflect back on my grief journey, I am so thankful for God’s provision. I know my husband is with the Lord. But knowing that does not erase the fact that when you lose a loved one, the path is hard. That is where so many of you played a big part. Unexpected things that you did lifted my spirits.

It is for this reason that I share some things that brought me to the point where I am now. One day at a time, friends and family helped me to see that the sun comes up again.

Friends wrote notes to my children. You will never know what that meant to them and to me. There were friends who insisted on spending the night to help me make it through the night in those early days. I have often thanked God for giving me the strength to say I had a need. That one area of my personal grief process has given others the courage to allow someone to help them. There is never a weakness in seeking help. People don’t know how to help if you don’t tell them.

There were so many little things that meant so much. For one year, some thoughtful person sent flowers to the house on special days — Valentine’s, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Bob’s birthday, my birthday. I have tried to remember this touching gesture of love in my life and reciprocate it to others.

The various expressions of love made me more aware of the gift of friendship. I hope I have been a better friend to fellow strugglers because of my experience.

Thank you to those who hung in there for six years and will be there in the years ahead. After any kind of loss, so many people come at once, and they are a treasured group.

So many of you helped me to appreciate the meaning of Psalm 94:19: “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”

God and friends — what a consolation in the time of grief!

Nothing is too small or too unusual. Send those cards. Make the phone calls. Tell those people going through the dark night of the soul that you are praying for them. People did all of the above for me. It is God who is the Rock, the strength for all our troubled waters, but He uses people like you to help calm the ocean of grief.

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