The Protection of Friends
“Do not protect yourself from grief by a fence, but rather by your friends,” a Czech proverb advises. One thing I know for certain is that no one who mourns should travel alone.
If you are suffering with a broken heart, now is the time to reach out and let others know you need them. Be as specific as you can with them, for many of them have yet to walk the path of grief and feel a little uncertain how to help you. Please move past their fears and ignorance and communicate your needs with those you feel safe and can trust. You will both benefit from this kind of open communication. Once we cross the threshold of that first call asking for help, it becomes easier to let our friends into this painful place of bereavement and the comfort of their presence protects us from the terror of aloneness. Rabbi Grollman once wrote, “Grief shared is grief diminished.”
I hope you are blessed with this kind of friend: “The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of confusion or despair, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing… not curing… that is a friend indeed.” –Henri Nouwen. If it seems difficult for others to be this kind of friend for you, may I suggest considering that God is already this kind of friend for you. Open your pain to his listening heart and let the healing begin.