Today I sat with someone who had experienced a devastating death in their family. It isn’t my story to tell, but I had a few thoughts about it that I think are okay for me to share.
My hubby and I were just talking Sunday, before we knew of this friend’s loss, about food and how we take it to people when there is a death. We often hear how this or that culture shows their love through food, but honestly, I think all cultures do. Food is so central to life that it is the first thing that comes to mind when there is joy or sorrow. My hubby pointed out how often the person who is grieving is not at all interested in food, but it is what we do, food is made, a plate is given, again and again no matter if the person has an appetite or not.
It’s what we know, it is at the core of our beings.
And suddenly, a few hours after this conversation, I was in that place of saying, “I want to bring a meal for them” when I found out about a loss. In my offer, I found myself sitting with this family as they grieved today. Turns out, in this particular culture, friends and family bring meals for three days and sit with the bereaved. So I went with two other friends and brought my paultry offering of a casserole and brownies. We ate, talked and just were, we held space.
I particularly just held space. I don’t understand the language of those I was with very much and I understand even less of the particular dialect of the mourners. So I sat.
Today was day three, so the official time of sitting with the family is completed. Grieving of course with not stop, really not for a lifetime, but for these three days, people came, people sat. People held space for those who had lost someone they loved so very much.
Next time someone you know experiences a death in their family or circle of friends, pause, sit, hold space with them. They will never forget it and you will be forever changed.