Joy Comes in the Morning…

Franz Schubert once said, “No one feels another’s grief, no one understands another’s joy. People imagine they can reach one another. In reality they only pass each other by“. As this thought is cynical on the surface, one’s inclination is to completely dismiss his opinion as uncaring and innaccurate; however, I think it has more truth than most people would like to believe.

I recently lost my Mother sudddenly and have been on this ridiculous journey referred to as the “grieving process” which of course is unpredictable and unique to each person. There are several people in my life who have been a tremendous comfort to me during this difficult time; some for the closeness of our relationships, some for their own experience with personal loss and some for the education or training that has enabled them to help me at through my various emotional states.

My best friend also lost her mother several years ago and having been through that with her as her friend I have learned to trust her judgement and take her advice on coping, dealing, ignoring and managing. I trust her, both because I know that she loves me and also because she has been there. Not exactly the same place as I am because each loss is felt differently by every person, but she has come through the terrible experience of losing the woman who gave her life and she speaks from a place of understanding. And yet, there are things that my closest friend cannot feel for me, or rationalize for me. There are dynamics to my loss that no one can interpret or walk me through, burdens that no one in my life can carry for me.

My mind turns to friends that I have endeavoured to “help” through their difficult times, some who have lost a beautiful small child, or a sibling, some who have suffered the pain of misscarraige as I have and some who are experiencing problems in their personal lives and relationships. There is this desire to tell people that we understand their pain, we know what they are feeling and can tell them what to do to “get through it” unscathed.

The truth is, we don’t know. We can never know. All we can do is stand by one another and walk with them as they cross the tumultuous river and help them dry off on the other side. I am grateful for those in my life who have been my voice when I couldn’t express my needs, for those who have held me up when I couldn’t ask for support. I am thankful that God has seen fit to use their experiences, although often difficult, to make them stronger…strong enough to help me.

The truth is Schubert was accurate in half of his statement, people cannot truly feel another’s grief, but true friends…Heaven-sent friends will not simply pass us by. Rather they will stop, hold our hand and continue the journey with us, if for no other reason than because we just might need a shoulder to cry on or someone to be there when the cloud of grief passes and the joy sets in again. Because as God promises in Psalm 30:5 “…Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

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