No Words

I find it so interesting the way people react when I tell them my mom passed away recently. Some react immediately with this look on their face, the one that says "I'm so sorry for your hurt", and then they say those exact words. (I like those people.) Some react with additional words of "I understand. I've been there. I know it hurts. I know it's hard. But it gets easier, it really, really does." (I like those people too.) Others react with nothing really. They say sorry, but they don't know what else to say and so they change the subject. (I understand. I do. It's hard to know what to say at times like that.) Other times people have apologized for bringing her up in conversation. Or even for talking about their own mother.

I just wish I could tell them it's okay. It's okay to let me be sad. It's okay to remind me of mom and cause me to feel sad again. Because let me tell you, there's no getting around that! It's okay to talk about my mom. (I especially love doing that actually.) It's okay to talk about your mom. If you still have your mom, naturally you want to talk about her sometimes. Please do! It helps. Somehow.

And to all those who have no words....I understand. I really do! Prior to this past May, I was in your shoes. You go to a funeral and you want so badly to have words to encourage the family. You feel awkward just standing there silent and you feel like you need to say something. But you have nothing, so you repeat the same old things everyone always says at times like that.

Can I tell you a secret? Words aren't needed.

They really aren't. During the visitation line, I heard "You have my sympathy" SO many times. By the end of that night, I was kind of tired of hearing those words. I still am. Sympathy isn't a bad thing, I get that. But it doesn't really say a whole lot either.
sympathy: noun the fact or power of sharing the feelings of another, especially in sorrow or trouble; fellow feeling, compassion, or commiseration
I think that definition was created because of the people that go to funerals and don't know what else to say. And most times, I've noticed, it's said by those who've not experienced losing this significant person in their life yet. Those who've been there? They don't usually say it.

But let me repeat, words are not necessary. Just being there, standing in front of me tells me a whole lot. Hugs tell me even more! (I should make clear, if you're unable to be there in person then obviously words are all you'll have, whether by phone or written in a note. In which case, words are necessary. Just not sympathy, okay? Really truly not.) Looking back, I can't tell you anything one single person told me. But I do remember the feelings I felt from those who came. I remember quite vividly a particular cousin and several close friends who came and hugged me tight for a long, long time. I remember how I felt in those moments very clearly. If I sit and think on it a while, they come back to me and the sadness rushes back too. But it's a good sad!

Is that weird to say? "It's a good sad"? Probably. But it is. While this new path I'm on isn't easy (not by a long shot!), it's still good. I can find rest and joy in it. Some days easier than other, certainly.

Sad is pretty much a constant in my life right now. And that's okay. There's no way for me to be any different. Only time is going to change it. And actually I really think there's always going to be this small part of my heart sad for the rest of my life. And that's okay too. It means she meant a lot to me! I'll just be Kara with a hole inside. Luckily for me, my Father understands. I think He went through a sadness when He turned His back on Jesus. So I know He understands! And He's getting me through.

Little by little, He's getting me through.