What do you say to those that mourn?

“Went to the eye doctor and she said my eyes were a little dry. I needed to supplement the moisture with some drops. I guess the tear ducts have been exhausted in the last two years.”

He mourns.
He pours out his heart in his Facebook status’.
He will get feeling a bit better,
and then he struggles again.
It is so difficult … to watch …
especially since he loved a dear friend.

He lost his wife of fifteen plus years to leukemia. They married later in life. They had two adorable, sweet children. My friend, Mary, homeschooled them. They lived in our neighborhood. Marilee would come to homeschool park day in one of her denim dresses with her beautiful curly locks on the third Monday of each month … so I spent many a full day with her for several years. But, Mary became sick and, after a strong, ferocious battle, she lost her life to leukemia.  That was about 15-18 months ago.

I have met Bill. He is my Facebook friend. In fact, I would call him my “friend” … because I feel such emotion when I think of him.  I see his children at school when I go to have lunch each week with my Joy. I loved his wife. But, honestly, I might not immediately recognize him in the grocery store  …. unless his children were by his side. Surely, he wouldn’t recognize me at all.
Yet, my heart breaks for him.

And what do you say?

Those of us with the chromosomal propensity
to wrap our arms around his neck ….
to call him up and listen to him sorrow
to run by and check on him
take him a meal
send him a card
… we cannot.
We are women
and we are married
or we were married
or we want to be married
and it would be inappropriate.

So, we offer what we can
in comments of reply
and our hearts break for him.

I wish I could do something … something big and important … long-lasting and dense …. substantial and worthwhile. I wish I could do something that would matter and that would help.

In truth, I wish I could go into his home and clean it for him from top to bottom. I wish I could talk to him and help him decide if there are things he could purge that were hers that he knows he doesn’t need and shouldn’t keep. He could give them away to bless someone else. He could somehow take a few small steps to … make their home be less painful for him.

I wish I could cook a month’s worth of meals for him and put them in the freezer each month so he could spend time with his children. Or maybe I could teach him how to use the crockpot so he could have dinner waiting when he comes home.

I wish I could homeschool his children for him. Oh, if I could bring them home … they’re just around the corner from me. It would be so fulfilling. It would bring me such joy. I would speak gently and kindly, the way that she did … as if they were my own. I would be patient and do my best to teach them well … knowing that I would fall short of her self-discipline but could be kept accountable through a co-op and they would excel. I wish I could encourage them with their violins and we could talk about God … how big He is … how He has a plan … and all things work together for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.
I wish ….

I wish I could plant flowers in the front yard and help him with his yard work. I wish I could help bring beauty back into his life.

I wish I could include him in on fun things that we do at times … like neighborhood bonfires at the park or going for a walk at the local walking path … because I don’t think he plays very often … and I understand that … and he needs to play again. He needs to re-learn. In fact, I would love to babysit his children so that he could date again … when he is ready. I would love to do that for him.

I wish I could take his daughter shopping … and be her friend.  She’s such a dear … big, blue eyes and sweet smile like her mama. Oh, that I could help her pick out clothes and we could just spend girl time together.

If I were able to speak into his life
without feeling like an intruder
I would encourage him to go to counseling. He really needs someone to talk to … someone who could help him work these things through.  Maybe I could help him find a group for grieving widowers. He isn’t the only one. There have to be others … that could help him … and later he could offer support. He really needs help. Hasn’t anyone told him?

In reality, as I write this all out, it sounds like, “I wish I could …. be his wife.”  But, that’s not what I mean. I’ve written HERE about that. That’s not what I mean … at all.  I’m just one of the dozens of people that fit somewhere into the circle of life of Bill  … that wants to help … and just doesn’t know how.

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3 thoughts on “What do you say to those that mourn?

  1. That’s just it. It all feels inappropriate from a divorced woman. ANd the friends I know who are married, feel it’s inappropriate from them. I will say that I offered to photograph him and the kids. I would love to do that for him. He never responded though.

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