My friend's husband died Thursday evening. He was able to be at home with hospice care (wonderful people)...but that last day and a half was extremely difficult from what I understand. You would think that I would be prepared to "minister" to my sweet friend because of my experiences...and yes, I think probably seeing that the kids and I are doing well is some hope and encouragement to her and her children, but I still don't have any magic words or actions to make the nightmare go away or to speed up the journey through these darkest of nights. Everyone is different in how they deal with their grief...what I learned in my journey does have some universal properties, but I have also witnessed how each of us has our own way of handling things.
As she and I sat there in her kitchen later that Thursday night, I still talked too much and listened too little--even though I know better--the desire to help the nightmare end seems to force unnecessary words to flow forth--but the bottom line is I can't do a thing really except sit in the ditch with her--letting her know that, as she is ready, I am here to be an ear...not a mouth full of advice, but an ear to listen.
I know I cannot walk through the dark night for anyone...or hurry them through to the other side--but I can walk (quietly) with--using my God-given gifts and abilities to care (as my family and friends continue to do for me) as I accompany them on *their* journey...trying not to confuse their journey with my own.