You know, after my brother-in-law, Verd, died, I kind of thought we were "done". That we had paid our dues...I mean, one tragedy per family is too much, right?
This familiar path is (forgive me for being a two year old for a second), so freaking unfair. SO UNFAIR.
My husband has had two brothers die. WAY before their time. Those brothers had wives and children (13 between them) and parents and brothers and sisters and in-laws and nieces and nephews and ENTIRE communities that loved them.
I just read some of my old posts from when Verd died and yes. ALL THE YES. It still rings true. From walking through the sludge of grief to the things I've learned. It is all still so true.
You guys, these two men that we've "lost" (more on that word in a second) were two of the greatest. As I step back and take a look at my husband's family from afar I am amazed at what great people my in-laws made. And gosh dang if it doesn't take my breath away that I've been blessed enough to marry one.
Okay, back to the things I've learned and that dumb word "loss". I hate it. HATE IT. I know that death is so uncomfortable and I guess I'd rather have people say "I'm sorry for your loss" than not say anything at all but can we all make a pact to stop saying it? We didn't lose Jared...we know right where he is. But what did happen was that he died. And he left behind a whole bunch of people that miss him terribly.
Here are somethings you could say to replace "your loss":
"I am so sorry to hear about your brother-in-law, Jared." (Use their name and relationship.)
"Jared was such a wonderful man, I was lucky to know him." (Share how you know him.)
"I remember when Jared and I *insert memory here*." (I can not say enough about how healing memories are...the funny stories and antics of a loved one are so good to hear from others.)
Don't tell us he's in a better spot or that God has a plan...even if those words are the truth, they aren't easy to hear when you're raw with grief and trying to comfort young children. It kinda makes God out to be the bad guy.
And one last thing...lunch meat. Oh my word, all the lunch meat. Should you want to bless a grieving family with food (and thank you, thank you, thank you for doing so) skip the lunch meat aisle. So. Much. Lunch meat. ;)
Again, thank you all for your kind words and for thinking of us...most of all, thank you for your prayers.