By Tony Solis
THE COMFORT OF WORDS
powerful the tongue is.
my grandmother passed on, our family received many letters of love and concern.
They came from different parts of the world, from family and friends. Reading
these cards and the thoughts that were expressed were nothing short of comfort
you know someone experiencing a loss and need the words to help comfort them,
please read on.
takes only a few words. No matter how eloquent or simple, communicating is an
expression of love. For my family, each note meant someone had taken the time
and energy to let us know they were thinking of us. Even if what was written was
just a few lines or the writer expressed fear of not saying the right thing, the
fact that they set aside a few minutes to say, “I sorrow with you,” was
can be a blessing. Often there is a great deal of support immediately following
a death. But then life goes back to normal for everyone except the grieving
family. Don’t hesitate to send a note weeks or even months later. A belated
message is often a much-needed uplift the day it arrives.
your memories. Letters that stood out for me were those that mentioned a special
memory of Grandma. It didn’t matter what it was or when it happened. Things
such as, “I remember how she taught children in class. She authentically loved
teaching the kids,” and, “Grandma always loved more than she was loved and
it never bothered her. Giving of herself was enough.”
comments are precious reminders of some character trait or some long-forgotten
event. No detail is too trivial. There is no greater comfort to the bereaved
than to talk about their loved one.
your feelings a context. It was
meaningful when someone detailed exactly what he or she was doing when they
heard of Grandma’s death. “I was outside weeding the garden when the postman
put two letters in our box. What a shock as I stood there on the front porch
reading of your tragedy with tears streaming down my face.” Another wrote,
“We had just reached home and a mutual friend called me only to [relate] your
tragic loss.” It’s as though they were saying, “That moment was important
to me.” Of course, in many deaths there is not the same element of shock, but
for everyone there is a moment when they hear about the loss.
to catch up with your own news. Focus your thoughts on the grieving person.
Avoid the temptation of “catching them up” with your life. When you say,
“I care, but life goes on,” it tends to lessen the impact of your comfort.
out the verse, not just the reference. If a Bible verse is worth giving, it’s
worth writing out. Before you include a verse, check out different Bible
versions. Maybe a certain translation expresses most clearly what you are trying
Bible says, “the tongue is like the rudder of a ship. Although the ship is
large and driven by strong winds, a very small rudder controls it wherever the
pilot should choose to go.” (James 3:4) The same is true of written words.
card can be God’s balm to grieving friends. On that day years ago, those
letters did not only touch me, I was held by God’s hands on Earth.
Tony Solis is the Host of “Eh! U Da Kine, Ah?” in its second season on OC16, an on-air personality and the producer of the Aloha Morning Show on Hawaiian 105 KINE. Tony can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.