Grief is awkward.
Words can’t fix it and acts of service can’t change anything. To dance on eggshells with someone hoping and praying that you don’t say the one wrong thing is cumbersome. Do they want you to ask? Do they want to avoid the topic? Should you offer words of comfort or say nothing?
That first week, the house felt heavy. It was as if a weight had settled on all of us. When people came to the house, I knew they felt it too. And it was awkward.
If you have known this grief, you know that it is with great caution that one speaks to it. If you have known grief that settles into your bones and attempts to crush you with its weight, you know. You know that there is no formula, no scripture, to bring relief to the ache. If you have watched others rejoice in healing while you are left with only questions, you understand.
But the walk through the valley of the shadow of death causes us to come across unexpected gifts. A new, perhaps a first, understanding of grace. A forced perspective on the faithfulness of God. A reliance on community and love like we have never known. It forces us to confront questions of our faith and to choose, yes or no, are we still in.
Grief is awkward. And you learn that no one can walk through it for you. Some will come with you, yes. And you are blessed if you have a faithful friend that will stay through the awkwardness, carry some of the heaviness with you, and keep up with you step-for-step.
I can’t tell you what is on the other side. I don’t know what the view looks like when the clouds break apart. But I do know, that I’m still in and I’m more thankful than I have ever been for the body of Christ.