Finding treasure in people who don't understand
I recently asked my IG friends to share their experiences with friendship after loss. 89% said friendship looks different than it did before. 86% said friendship is harder now. 78% said large social gatherings are more difficult. I relate to these statistics.
In the initial weeks and months after losing Ethan, I was met with a tsunami of support. Sure, some said hurtful things, but I truly felt loved, supported, and grateful. Even so, I walked through a season where I naturally gravitated toward women who knew heartache similar to mine and shut most others out. Those new friendships have been an amazing gift to me and I’m so thankful for the bereaved mamas I connected with in our earliest days of grief. It is how I met some of my very best friends. Those friendships are so *good* and I’m incredibly grateful for these sisters I’ve gained. But I also think it’s important to note the importance and the gift of being a part of the body of believers, each equipped with different gifts, experiences, and wisdom. When I finally put my walls down and laid my bitterness aside, I found the value in “doing life” together with women whose stories differed from mine. In speaking scripture over each other and encouraging each other in our Christian walk. In sitting with friends walking through trials I don’t fully understand. In gleaning wisdom from those who have walked through different experiences, yet cling to the same Hope as me. From those who are years ahead of me, from those who are single, from those who are mothering multiple children, but can lovingly point me toward the truth and offer such wisdom.
Friend, I know how scary it is to make friends after loss. I certainly would never ask you to share your deepest hurts with every person you meet or to say yes to every invitation you receive--but I do encourage you not to count people out because their stories are different. You may find a treasure in someone who "doesn't understand", as I know I have.