Saturday, May 21, 2011
**Today I'm grateful for the simple joys. For family.**
My heart has been heavy these last few days. I am sad for a dear friend of mine who is grieving a tremendous loss.
And as we cried together over his pain, I felt anew the helplessness that comes when you so want to make something better, but know you are powerless to do so.
Then I heard a quote. “A shared burden is a lighter burden.”
And I wondered if that was true. That if by sharing in our friends burdens—by hearing their grief, by crying with them—one small part of that burden would be lifted.
I’m not sure. I hope so.
But if not, there is also this:
Rockstar left to serve a mission while I was in medical school. The time right after he left was difficult. I was worried about his safety and the two years apart. My friends gathered around me. They rented silly chick flicks and made me care packages. They gave me hugs and listened to my concerns and fears.
Soon after, the first “Lord of The Rings” movie came out. As I watched the end of the movie, I suddenly understood what they were doing.
While Frodo is carrying the ring to its final destination, his friend Sam is trying to support him. But Sam knows that he cannot carry the ring for his friend. That is Frodo’s burden alone. He says to him, “I can’t carry the ring for you…but I can carry you.”
‘That’s it’, I thought. My friends couldn’t make the time pass any faster, and they couldn’t promise me that everything would turn out just the way I wanted it. But they could carry me while I worked through a rough time, and it made a big difference.
When I asked my friend what he needed this week, he said he simply needed a critical mass of people who would be willing to talk every week or so. Just to check on him, to listen to him work through things.
And I could see it: If the grief our loved ones go through is a sea, threatening to overwhelm them, we need to be part of the boat. The thing that buoys them up and keeps them from drowning, while they take their difficult journey.
Grief is a heavy thing. Because of that, I’m grateful that there are forces to ease its weight. I’m grateful for the hope and lift that exists in community. For the Light of Faith. For a belief in eternal things.
Whether it is a patient, a friend, or a loved one, I hope I can find ways to better share burdens and to carry those who carry them.