I have experienced death twice this year.
A dear friend of mine, Russell, passed away due to complications from a stomach virus which affected his heart at the age of 27 years old in April this year.
Friends of ours gave birth to their precious first child, a beautiful daughter, and she passed away at 6 days old - today - father's day.
I know death is a hard thing to face, especially of people so young. I know both of these special people will be with our Father in heaven. I know they are now free of pain, sadness and fear. All these things I know.
Yet it is still a very hard thing to accept. I don't understand why I am struggling to accept these sad circumstances. I guess it is all head knowledge and it is having a hard time connecting with my heart. I can't get my mind around the fact that I will never see Russell's smiling face again or catch up with him next time we are in our home town. I can't understand that he just doesn't exist any more.
I seek God for answers. I know that somehow this will all work out for His glory. But I don't understand it.
How do you comfort those who grieve? What words can you say to the fiancé left behind and the parents whose hearts are broken. All the things that are on my heart seem so cliché.
"I'm praying for you"
"They are in a better place"
"I'm so sorry for your loss"
None of it seems enough. And that's because it isn't. It can't change the fact that they have a reason to grieve.
The only thing I can do is be there. Be there when they struggle to accept it themselves. Be there for a shoulder to cry on. Be there to just listen. Be there to understand that it will take time to get up and walk steadily again. Just be there. As cliché as that is.
My heart has broken this year. I'm learning to deal with that.