Life is precious and precarious, at best. We all have difficult seasons and sometimes difficult paths to follow, but perhaps one of the hardest is seeing a close friend or family member go through a personal tragedy.
On March 7th, my lifelong friend, Barbara Shawn, lost her beautiful son, David Gildon, in a terrible car accident. David’s passing shattered the hearts of many, including his mother, his sister, Tammy Bowen and Mary (ChiChi) Biggs, his fiancee, plus many others in their respective families.
After receiving the news of his death, I sat paralyzed in shock in my living room. My heart was broken for Barbara and the tears flowed as I tried to grasp the unimaginable grief she must be feeling.
It is human nature to want to reach out and be supportive of our loved ones during times of grief…but the bible speaks of carrying each other’s burdens. How exactly do we do that? After the initial outpouring of support from friends and family, the visits, the food that is provided for the family, what happens after the funeral is over and life must go on?
For David’s family and his fiancee, their grief will not end this side of Heaven. How then do we help sustain them? Perhaps the best way to demonstrate our love is to allow the Holy Spirit to link our hearts to theirs and be willing to share those deep places of grief with them, as best we can. This may happen through phone conversations, cards or letters, or especially a hug when you’re with them. No one can measure the depth of their grief, especially Barbara’s, as a parent, unless you’ve been in the same circumstance, but we can continue to lift them up in prayer, listen to them and love them with open and tender hearts.
My message is this…..commit to help carrying their burden of grief and be willing to go the distance with them in prayer, in support and with much love.
I realize not everyone reading this post knows these two families. Perhaps you do, or perhaps you’re a friend of mine. Either way, I would greatly covet your prayers for my wonderful friends.