Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to support someone but you didn’t know how? Have you tried to “solve” or “fix” the situation? Life’s challenges are ongoing and may not have a simple fix. What is often needed is someone to mourn with. Sheldon Martin provides excellent tips for mourning with people.
The difference between mourning with someone and mourning for someone is that with implies a journey. You walk a path alongside them. There are times to sit with someone, listen to them, and validate what they are feeling rather than give advice or resources. It’s more helpful to mourn with than for someone.
Timing matters. If someone shares a vulnerability, it can be healing to have you actively listen. Genuinely try to connect with them. In fact, thank them for telling you, and acknowledge that you do not know what to say.
Tone matters. Genuinely try to connect with how they are feeling. Human relationships should not be mechanical. When someone opens up, they might already know of a solution but fear carrying it out.
Complex problems, challenges, and trials require time. So give people time. You’re the resource. You can help them come to the ultimate Healer, Jesus Christ. Whatever your sphere of influence, you can mourn with, walk with, cry with, wait with, listen with, and not simply mourn for those around you.
Has someone mourned with you?