Sharing Burdens One Card At A Time

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Death leaves tangible voids in life. It hurts to see others hurt. We long to keep the tears from falling, but it doesn’t work. The grief of loss overwhelms and we join in with the tears. We use euphemisms to convince ourselves and others. “Time heals everything.” “It gets easier with time.” We know it is a lie as the pain still feels raw and grief erupts from deep inside.

We feel helpless so we pray. We feel powerless, so we pray some more. We want to comfort in the moment. We listen with hugs and empathize with silence. Words would betray us, if we think we can truly understand the intensity of their loss. We feel inadequate and long to do more, to just do something. But what?

At first it stirred in my heart and later was confirmed with the young widow. It was the comfort I could extend that perfectly suited my personality. I committed to sending a card once a week for a year. I have two more cards to send out as we are almost to the one year anniversary of her husband’s death.

The cards are not meant to be a reminder of her loss. Instead, the cards are a reminder that I remember her loss, I am thinking of her, I prayed for her, and I love her. Some cards were long as one would expect from a writer, others were one-sentence short, some funny, and others simply sweet. God answered my prayers and used these cards at just the right time in the widow’s week. Her burdens were shared one card at a time.

My sister-in-law, and really our entire family, will make it through the year. Sending cards helped me to work through my own grief, one card at a time. The gift of comfort I could share was a box full of love expressed through those cards. God’s gift will always be the comfort that fills the voids of our lives. His joy and His hope carries our burdens and ushers in our healing.

 

Proverbs 14:13

Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.

 

Psalm 56:8

Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll—are they not in your record?

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Sharing Burdens One Card At A Time

  1. Thanks Debbie for sharing something special we can do for others in need of comfort.

    Jesus tells us to come to Him when we have a heavy load and like you have done Debbie we rejoice with those who rejoice and cry with those who cry, we comfort them as we have been comforted and we remember too that we don’t grieve as Believers like those with no Eternal Hope grieve.

    2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

    Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one anther’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

    Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

    Philippians 2:1-6 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of Love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same Love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

    Christian Love Always – Annie

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    • Annie… perfect verses! God’s living word speaks to every circumstance in our lives. The 2 Corinthians passage you shared has long been my motivation for serving in ministry. Blessings to you!

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  2. What a beautiful gift — and promise of a gift — that of your cards weekly for a year. A hug in the mail. A remembrance. I love this: “The cards are not meant to be a reminder of her loss. Instead, the cards are a reminder that I remember her loss, I am thinking of her, I prayed for her, and I love her.” I will be curious if you miss sending them out weekly and I bet she will miss getting them. I’m sure the connection has made you two closer in a special way. I always have heard that when a loved one dies, the ones grieving the most LONG to hear stories about the person, LONG for people to bring up the deceased’s name … but it is the tendency of people not to do so. This is such a great idea, and no doubt help to this young widow.

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    • Donna, I really did enjoy doing this. (But then again, I am old-school and so much a card person!) I remember when I first mentioned it to her a day after the funeral. I wasn’t sure how she would take it, so I was pleasantly surprised by her response. “I keep all your cards.” (It wasn’t like I had sent that many, just the typical birthday and Christmas cards.) Her response opened the door! I should add that I sent very close to weekly. She made me agree that it was not an “obligation” and there was no pressure to send weekly. I still can’t believe that a year has gone by so fast.

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    • Truthfully, I am not sure when the grieving process will ever end. I have always heard, “don’t make any serious decisions for one year” after a major life event. However, that one year seems so arbitrary now. Grieving, coping, and relishing the future are all processes to be worked through on people’s own terms and timing.

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    • I am hopelessly “old-school!” I still subscribe to our local newspaper to be delivered at the end of the driveway, clip coupons with scissors (not the click of a mouse), and send cards that require a postage stamp! Sometimes, I am surprised that I have a blog. 🙂

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        • I am feeling the sting of hypocrisy (for myself) because I do have a smartphone. I am a Johnny-come-lately as we converted in February 2015. (And I love it! But I can see how it is so easy to disengage from those in the same room.)

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          • Chuckle. I think there are worse things to feel guilty about than owning a smartphone in this age. Well – if you enjoy a bit too much. Ha ha ha. I am always behind on this blog (I meant to post the Tiger’s Pursuit last year!! No time.) so I am glad not to be distracted by an iAnything. It IS useful, though! Saves you a lot of time in many ways, esp on the road.

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  3. This is such a powerful and amazing ministry. To acknowledge with your words or comfort and encouragement is HUGE. So often there is the support immediately following a death, but soon we are back in own worlds. I am as guilty as anyone. Anniversaries of a death can so often be so difficult…it all comes back, but this time without the support.

    I commend you so much Debbie for what you are doing. God bless you so much! 🙂

    ~Carl~

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    • Thank you! The key to my consistency was that it fit my personality.

      There are so many ways to “support” others after death (or a crisis.) To name a few ways: phone calls, invitation for an evening out, and help with chores around the house. (That last one is how my husband likes to encourage.) We may not be able to lessen the sorrow, but we can keep them company for a little while.

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        • Sorry to hear that your dad died when you were 15 years old. I think of my niece who is 15 years now and lost her dad a year ago. Any advice to share on how to “help” her? It sounds like you have experience to draw from.

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