I’m too much for them. I’ve always felt like too much. The sensitivity. The moods. The deep dark places into which I slide.
I had a Christian counselor once tell me that some emotions you can only take to God, because only He can handle them. I don’t know if that’s true, but I know I’ve scared many people off with my too muchness.
Too much thinking. Too much feeling. Especially among men, too opinionated and too emotional (I still don’t understand why that’s bad). I’m too, too much to handle. But I don’t want or need to be handled.
Walk beside me. Hold my hand. Lift me up. Cheer me on. I don’t have to be too much, if you don’t have to take me on as your pet project.
My dad was a preacher whose duties often included ministering to the grieving. A few months after my dad died, my aunt called me crying. She is a pastor as well. She told me a parishioner’s child had committed suicide. She was crying because, as she explained, she wanted advice from her big brother. She revealed that she would often seek counsel from Daddy about such tough issues. Of course, at this point, I’ve joined her in crying over his absence.
Defeatedly, this normally strong, out-spoken woman whimpered, “I want Gerald to tell me what to say to these parents? What can I possibly say to help them?” Relief swept over me, warm and tingly. I am no psychic, but my eyes dried and widened. I know. I know the answer. Pat, I’d like to solve the puzzle. I knew what Daddy would have told her.
Daddy said many times, when “handling” grief, don’t say anything.
Sit with the grieving. Sit with them in their sadness. Cry with them. Pray with them, but don’t try to fix it with words. ….if you know at least two Lawrences, you know that is truly profound for one to advocate less words! We’re not exactly know as a reticent group….
Daddy would have told Auntie, nothing you can say will fix it, so don’t try. There are no verbal doctors of healing, and your well- intentioned words are likely to cause more harm. He had sealed this lesson into my being with a powerful story of when his brother, a young, jovial husband and father of two, died in an automobile accident. He told me about a well-meaning woman who had tried to fix his grief with words. She told my father, “I know what you’re going through.” He lashed back asking if she too had lost a brother. No, she stammered. “Then how could you possibly know what I’m going through?” he pressed.
For fear of ever being in that poor woman’s shoes, I have never spoken those words to a grieving soul. I often think of my dad’s advice, which I was honored to pass along to my aunt. Just sit in the valley of despair. Hold up the weak and be there to walk beside them when they are ready to stand and move forward. But don’t commentate their storm.
It’s not your journey.