The loss of a loved one affects us all in our own ways. I can still feel the tremendous ache in my heart when Hoss, my little dog, died in my arms. You are probably saying, but that is just a dog! I know, but the pain was intense, the tears were big, and the sense of being all alone was very real.
If we have the capacity to love our pets this much, how much more is our capacity to love our human friends and family? We experience loss through our jobs when we help a patient’s family let their loved ones go. A piece of us goes too; it cannot be helped. We are care providers and we care about the people who are assigned to use for a brief period.
I can remember sitting at the bedside of a patient many years ago while she waited for a family member to come; no one ever did. Perhaps she had no close family. We did not know. This was at a time when nurses could actually take time to comfort those in need. I took some time to sit with her, she reached out for my hand and held it so gently. She looked at me as if to say thank you for being here as I watched her breathing become slower and shallower. When she took her last breath, my tears flowed, and I did not even really know her. She was my patient all of six hours. All I could think of was how much I would not want to die all alone; how lonely and for some, frightening that might be. I took care of her as if she were my family and I will never forget her!
I have a dear friend who cares for his flock in ministry. He ministers to them with strength, courage, conviction, and compassion. He suffered the loss of a friend who was much like a brother to him. I could tell he was suffering…I soon understood just how much. He said: “How am I supposed to comfort those around me when I am grieving with such pain?” I truly had more appreciation of the phrase we use “suffered the loss” of a loved one.
We all suffer in some way when we lose something – someone we love. We will not experience the joy in the moment anymore, but we will experience the memories we have forever!
In 2 Corinthians 1: 3-7, Paul writes about The God of all Comfort. He comforts us in our times of suffering so that we may comfort others in any trouble or in great need or suffering. When we are comforted by our loving Father through Christ Jesus, we are receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with whatever we are facing.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Ask Him to wrap his loving arms around you; close your eyes and feel his presence. Remember, every trial that you endure will help you comfort other people who are suffering in similar ways.
2 Corinthians 4:10