Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4 (NKJV)
Tonight, I visited a friend. She’s not much older than me, but one week ago today, her husband died in a car accident. Someone ran a red light, hit his truck broadside and caused it to roll. He was killed instantly. With the holidays over and my house starting to empty of family, I felt the need to see her. Know it is not my nature in a crisis to sit with someone who is grieving. Put me in the kitchen, let me entertain the children, send me to the store, ask me to write the obituary or plan a funeral, but being still and listening when someone’s heart is breaking is not something I am comfortable doing. But, today, I went even though I was full of excuses and reasons to stay at home. All I can say is I felt I was compelled. I made a big pot of soup and went straight from work. I hoped all the way there that no one would be at home. I would drop the soup by the neighbors and leave. But, my friend was there and her daughter and her mother. Three generations of women affected by this loss. Even though my friend is sick with a cold and was in bed, she gathered us into her room to share her feelings with us. And she praised God. She was grateful that she was laid off of work last summer. That allowed her to go with her husband when he traveled for business and gave them time together they would never have had. She told stories about a cruise to Alaska last September, and trips to their mountain cabin last fall. She praised God that he had always been a very careful driver to the point of being teased for driving like an “old” person. She had no doubts that the accident was not his fault. She was also relieved to know that when he drove, he always looked straight ahead and was not distracted to look right or left. It comforts her to think he didn’t know what was coming. She is grateful for the three phone conversations she had with him the day of his death, trivial discussions, but dear to her now. And most importantly, she is grateful that she walked him to the door the morning he left, kissed him good-bye, told him she loved him and watched him drive away. Little did she know those would be the last memories she would have of her husband. So, when you read this, don’t think what a good friend I am for going to mourn with her. Realize that I was compelled to go for my own benefit. For as this old year passes and a new one begins, today I was warned loud and clear. Treasure relationships. Don’t take them for granted. My friend grieves, but she grieves with hope. She will see her husband again. But, oh, how she wishes for one more moment.