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Tired of Crying

Tired of Crying

The small town where I live is ready for a new month. A new start. For a town of 1,000 there have been a lot of funerals these past few months.

 

We’re tired of crying.

Tired of sadness.

Tired of hearing the bell toll for someone who has died.

Tired of watching our loved ones grieve.

 

We’re all ready to not attend another funeral for a while.

 

But despite our sadness and grief, there’s beauty found in funerals.

There’s hope in hearing the promise of resurrection.

There’s joy in hearing about the lives of God’s people.

There’s healing in sharing stories.

 

And perhaps most importantly there’s the power in showing up.

In reaching out to grieving families.

In bringing food.

In shaking hands.

In offering hugs.

In singing hymns when the words don’t come.

In letting the silence wash over us.

In lifting up prayers.

 

We show up over and over again because that’s what we’re called to do. As people of faith, followers of Jesus, showing up can be enough. Enough to bring the light and love of Jesus into the lives of those hurting. Enough to show that we care.

 

Living across the street from the church I get the privilege of seeing how many people take the time to pause and give thanks for the life of someone who has died. How many people know the power of being present.

 

Losing a loved one changes us and forever alters how we live in the world. But in the midst of our grieving we do go on. We continue to live. We honor those who have died by living and serving and loving – as a reflection of the faith they have shown us. And we remember who shows up. We remember God’s love through the presence of the community. We remember the light of Christ from those who shone that light for us. By showing up. Over and over again.

 

Because showing up proclaims that death does not have the final word.

 


 

Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. Her website is http://www.kimberlyknowlezeller.com

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Suzanne Painter

My sister's husband died two weeks ago unexpectedly. It has been terribly hard but some things have helped that I never thought about before. Now I know: bring food, and it can be from a restaurant (enchiladas, lasagna) or the grocery store (a roasted chicken and a bagged salad). You don't have to make it homemade, and you don't have to worry about whether people will like it - someone will like it and leftovers can be frozen for meals to come. Bring paper plates and cups if there are a lot of people in the family to feed. Write a personal memory of the person on your sympathy card - stories bring tears and laughter. That helps. Send a care package in a week or two - A friend sent coffee and chocolate. If you live nearby, offer to take the garbage cans to the curb and bring them back. It's hard to remember to do these things. Offer to pick up relatives at the airport, or transport family members to services. Send texts or emails - just don't expect a quick reply.

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