In the aftermath of loss, relationships suffer.
Sometimes it’s because of harsh words exchanged in the heat of emotional moments.
Sometimes it’s due to disagreements about how to deal with ongoing issues. Often, it’s because most people just don’t know what to say and don’t know what to do in the presence of great pain and suffering.
Days and weeks and months pass and one day we wake up and realize that a previously close relationship is now distant and strained.
I know that in my grief I have felt abandoned by people I felt sure would stand with me, would never leave me, would be my most stalwart encouragers.
And I know, too, that I have shut some people out. Some were too chipper or too quick to offer platitudes and others just seemed intolerant of my ongoing pain and sorrow.
Walls have been erected.
My heart sectioned off and my world divided into “us” and “them”.
I’m sorry for that. That’s not the way I want it to be.
Walls between people are built brick by brick.
A word spoken or not spoken. A call, text or message misinterpreted or mistimed.
But they can be brought down with one blow.
Grace is a wrecking ball that breaks through walls and stone cold hearts.
Grace given and grace received.
A call, a text, an email or message that says, “I’m thinking of you. I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch.”
Or a card sent the old fashioned way filled with love to assure a wounded heart that it is not abandoned or forgotten.
“I miss you.”
“I love you.”
It may not be easy and it might take several attempts.
But in the end, who can refuse extended arms and an open heart?