This world we live in is filled with tragedy.

Every news channel we watch, stories we hear from friends and relatives who live in different towns and cities. Even Facebook is filled with different stories of crises all over the world.

We all have heard of, or know someone,who knows of someone,who was involved in an accident or has a terminal illness, or,maybe even touched in some way by a racially charged shooting or mass killing because of their beliefs or unbeliefsOr sadly, the color of their skin.

Drug addictions are running rampant, causing it’s addicted captors to beg, borrow and steal from friends, family and strangers while destroying their lives as the lives of those who love them.

Natural disasters are on the rise. Flooding, wind damage, wildfires, even droughts,all contributing to loss of life, loss of homes, loss of businesses, loss of ways of providing and supporting our families and communities. Everything just wiped out from one storm.

It is tragic. Every single incident.

It rips our hearts apart and it should. We should never be indifferent or desensitized toward these things.

For some reason when we hear these things,we think that they will never happen to us. That they will never touch our lives.

That somehow our communities,our families, we are immune to the tragedy that is in this world.

I understand that it is a defense mechanism as we cannot bare to imagine the horrors of tragedy touching us, especially our children!

I cannot say that I never felt like it would NOT happen to me. I hoped it wouldn’t happen to me. However,I saw people around me, friends, those in my community who had tragedy beat against their door and rip their world apart.

I became very, very, aware that I was not immune to tragic events happening in my life. I certainly was not welcoming it with open arms. However, I knew that we are not guaranteed a problem free life. A life untouched by deep sorrow.

Until something tragic personally touches your life, it is very easy to get caught up in the moments of others tragedy.

What I mean by the moments of others tragedy is that time between the moment when tragedy strikes and the moments that make up the memorial services. All those moments in between when we pull together in shock and horror and God gives us the grace to do what we absolutely have to do. You look back on those 1st moments and you have no idea how you got through it.

Yes it only takes a moment for life as we know,to be forever altered.

After the memorial service is over, people, good people, go on with their lives, back to daily living, day after day, and somehow, unintentionally, it becomes a tad awkward or a little more difficult to relate to the people who are still living in the chaotic aftermath of the tragedy that swooped in and changed their lives forever.

It does not go away after the funeral services and the delicious meal served back at the church after your child is buried at the cemetery.

It does not go away when the glass that’s been shattered and the twisted metal on the roadway is cleaned up.

It does not go away after the doctor has pronounced a grim prognosis and a meal is brought along with a well meaning heart felt, “Please let me know if I can do anything .”

It does not go away when the evil person is arrested for shooting people gathered together in their place of worship.

There are many people and families who need help and comfort and they might not know what to ask for or how to ask for it.

It does not go away after you get your loved one into a rehabilitation center for the 3rd time, hoping this time they will come out clean and back to their old drug free selves.

It does not go away after the wonderful comfort food,that friends bring over in the time of crisis, when the containers are washed and returned to their owners.

It does not go away when communities get the devastating natural disaster messes cleaned up after the hurricane has blown back out to sea or the wildfires have been slowly put out.

It does not go away…. Ever.

We need people to smile at us. Go out of your way to be a friend to us.

Be compassionate.

Say our Child’s names.

Don’t brush by us like we are contagious. We know that we are reminders that yes, sadly it CAN happen to you.

We wouldn’t wish it on anyone but we didn’t ask for this nightmare in our lives either.

Offer some days and times that would work for you to come over and help do whatever needs to be done.

Cooking, baking, cleaning, getting pictures organized in an album,cleaning out an old closet, deep cleaning the base boards and windows,organizing a room, or even babysitting.

Maybe it’s just bringing tea and honey and some fresh lemon and sitting and drinking a cup of hot tea together.

Maybe it’s Entenmann’s and Sanka!

Just be there.

No words are needed sometimes.

Be a friend and respect your friends time table. We aren’t meaning to push you away but we can only handle so much.

Everything in our lives seems to be magnified and enhanced, especially interpersonal relationships.

Everything is like watching life with 3D glasses on. Things seem to make you jump. Things are a bit louder.

Personally, I needed some major quiet when it got too loud, and I just had to stop.

However, people need people. That’s how we are created. To help one another and to offer a kind hand to someone in need.

There is absolutely nothing you can say that makes anything better, or changes or fixes anything.

However, if you see a bereaved parent or family member in the grocery store, and you don’t know how to bring it up because of a thousand reasons, Say something like ” I’ve been thinking of you so much after I heard that Billy died.”

That won’t make me break down in tears in the middle of Walmart, it will touch my heart and give me the go ahead to freely speak and say my Son’s name. It will assure you and me that it’s okay to talk about him.

Billy and Logan. My heart💗

Then there is no more awkward tension. Bereaved parents sense that tension miles away.

I love Jesus and I love God’s Word but please, don’t give me verses right now. I know you mean well, but honestly it’s the last thing I want from you.

Does that mean I’m turning my back on God and becoming a heathen? NO but trust me, God hasn’t let me go yet and He’s always giving me a Word, a laugh, a memory and a smile. Maybe I could share those with you…

Everyone is different, every one grieves differently. Just be there. Send a card, send 2 or 3.

Send flowers later after everyone else’s flowers have died. Leave flowers on the gravesite. Have a pizza delivered for their family on a Saturday night months later. Send a card on their loved ones birthday or death day…

These are mere suggestions.

Be creative.

Pray. Ask the Lord what his precious children need and then be the vessel that He can use to flow through.

As long as we live in this fallen world, we will continue to hear about tragedy.

May we all learn a little bit better how to walk along side of those of us who’s worlds seem as though they are falling apart.

May we all be the ones to help others hold their arms up when the pieces are too heavy to carry.

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