Was he sick?
Was it suicide?
Was it a heart attack?
Did he die instantly?
Who found him?
Did he have a stroke?
Did they try CPR?
Who was he with?
Did they do an autopsy?
Have you read the report?
Where was he?
What is the cause of death?
Is there a history of drugs or alcohol?
Do anything of those things matter? Really? Do they matter?
He is dead. How he died doesn’t really matter to you, does it? Another family is grieving. Another family I’d hurting deeply. They are making plans to bury their son. They are planning a funeral and picking out a burial spot.
I, too, have questions. But I know the answers don’t matter. It is not my place to ask those questions. The answers are not for me to know.
What matters is that the parents are hurting. They loved their son. They thought he was wonderful! They loved every bit of him! They had dreams! They loved watching him play sports. They loved hearing him play music and laugh! Oh, how they loved his laugh! They loved his hugs and smiles and phone calls and text messages.
Now they are planning a funeral.
I must pray for them. I must love them from a distance because they don’t know me. But some day, if they want to meet and talk, I am available to listen. And share what I have learned these eighteen months of grief and healing and growing in grace.
Until then… I will pray. I will pray for God’s comfort to envelop them. I will pray for their marriage. I will pray for their other children. I will pray for the young man’s friends.
My prayer today is:
Thank you, Lord, for a sweet dream of my Andrew this morning. As I wake up in tears missing my son, I pray for a momma and dad as they awake to a nightmare of missing their son and planning things no parent wants to plan. Continue to comfort and guide them today and in the days and weeks to come. Make traveling easy for family coming in and help friends and loved ones express love in kind ways. Give everyone Your peace as they grieve for their son.
Father, help them to look to your Son as the author and finisher of their faith. Wrap your loving arms around the whole family. And around our community.
And, Lord, for so many young people hurting over this, having to face the death of another young friend, I pray that they would turn to You. So many questions. So many tears. Help us “older and wiser” folks to speak Your truths in trying to comfort. We need you, Father. Be real and evident to each of us today.
And if you must ask a question, try asking, “Could you tell me about your son? What was he like?” Or “May I tell you about one of my favorite memories of your amazing son?”
Love these hurting parents well, my friends. Love them well. And if you need help loving them well, read Friday Counseling Issues: Grieving a Child or Do NOT listen to the father of lies or What grieving parents want you to know (but may not say) or What NOT to say to a grieving family or While We’re Waiting.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 | ESV