Thursday, March 18, 2010

Grieving Husband

To the Anon with the Grieving Husband: 

I know it is not easy to be there for our loved ones when they are hurting. It is hard for the husband watching the wife go through labor. It is hard for the mother seeing her child sick and in pain. It is difficult for a spouse watching their spouse grieve the loss of one of their family members. 

I have been on both ends of this dilemma. Neither is an easy place to be. But I think being the griever, you generally know what it is like to be the one who doesn't understand grief. I mean most of us at one point in our life didn't understand what it was like to lose someone close to you. There are those, like my children who learn this at a young age. But most of us remember what it was like to not understand.

So for me it is easier to give a broad allowance to friends and family who don't were not present for me at those painful times. I think I have just felt more grateful to have people who do get it then upset that some don't. Does that make sense? I don't expect ANYONE to get it so I don't have hard feelings about friends who didn't call or whatever. 

So I doubt your husband would think you are selfish. I don't think you are selfish. And yes someday this dilemma will go away. Someday you will understand your husband's grief. It is a fact of life that people die. Someday it is likely that someone you are close to will die before you do. And then you will better be able to mourn with him and not be scared by his grief. Till then perhaps you can write him a letter to tell him how you feel and how much you love him and how you wish you could be there for him more.

I can tell you that grief is one of those pains you have to "push through" just like labor. If you can find the courage and strength to sit with your husband and hold him while he cries and let him talk to you about his feelings I think you would find a new level of love in your marriage. I am sure if you pray for the strength and understanding to do this the Lord will help you "push through" your own pain so you can be there for him. You don't have to do the talking. It is okay if you cry with him. Just be there for him as much as you can.

Hope this helps and I hope you find the inner strength to push through and give birth to a new level of closeness in your marriage.