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Cynthia Parrott
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Cynthia Parrott   My Press Releases

What Can I Do When Someone is Grieving?

Published on 6/28/2017
For additional information  Click Here



My best friend's grandson, Jacob, was born prematurely. Less than 25 weeks. He was weighed less than a pound, but was quite the little fighter and a true miracle. He's been fighting and holding on since March. This past Sunday night, for reasons we will never understand, God took his precious soul into His arms. We were shocked. He seemed to be doing well, thriving and gaining weight, but his under-developed lungs and sweet little body just couldn't keep fighting any longer.  Jacob's battle is over and he is resting now. As for the loving parents and family he left behind; their battle is really just beginning as they try to deal with the grief of such a terrible loss and the emptiness in their hearts. 

When I first heard the news, I immediately called my friend. I got her voicemail. I wanted to go right to her house, but didn't want to show up unannounced and intrude on her and her family during their terrible time of shock and grief. So I sent her a text, expressing my deepest sorrow and asked her if she wanted me to come over. She texted me back, "Thank you, but not now. My head is pounding and I am exhausted. I need to try and get some sleep."  I responded and let her know if there was anything she needed me to do for her or her family, let me know. I am here. She texted me back again another thank you and "Love You." 

And then I sat down and wept. For a really long time. I was so upset over such a terrible loss and I felt so helpless. There is nothing in the world I can do or say to ease their enormous pain. 

Then I started thinking of my last text to her:  

"If there's anything you need me to do for your or your family, let me know. I am here." 

It was kind and genuine. I meant every word of it, from my heart, and I am sure she knew that. But did it really mean much? Probably not, because, I was actually putting the pressure on her - to LET ME KNOW. Right now, she can't even see or think straight because she is so overwhelmed with sorrrow. How will she possibly be able to think of what she and her family might need right now and then LET ME KNOW? All they need is for what seems like their worst nightmare to be over, their precious baby back in their arms again and their pain GONE. 

What can I do to ease their pain and sorrow? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. There are no words, no gestures, no comfort I can possibly give. But even in the midst of their great sorrow, life still goes on. There are meals to cook, other children to care for, shopping to be done, laundry to do, bills to pay and jobs to go to and somehow, someway, with their hearts torn to shreds, they've still got to manage all that. And I can't imagine how they will possibly do it. 

And that was my answer right there. While there is nothing I can do to ease their pain and sorrow, I can help to lighten some of their burdens.

While I am sure they don't want me showing up to clean the house or do their laundry, I know there are hungry mouths to feed over there. I can cook. I can prepare a big pan of baked ziti or macaroni and cheese that I know the kids will love and will save their mom from worrying about what's she going to feed her family for dinner. She barely has the strength to get out of bed right now, let alone stand at stove and cook. And maybe they would like a little ice cream, too. Little Jacob's siblings know something very sad has happened and they feel sad, too, but they still don't quite understand. Maybe some ice cream would make them feel happy. Some Flying Saucers from our local Carvel would probably do the trick. Those are fun. 

How to do this? Don't ASK! Because they'll probably say NO. Just show up - goodies in hand. Knock on the door, hand it all over and go! Even if they ask me in, probably out of obligation, just leave it all there and let them be alone. They need to grieve and I do not want to step into their private moments as they try come to terms with their great loss and sorrow. But a homecooked meal and a few treats for the kids? That could help to take away a tiny bit of stress. 

I came across this amazing video this morning on Facebook - a heart-felt version of Bridge Over Trouble Water. This song, presented with such power and passion, expressed how I am feeling right now. Helpless. Powerless. Unable to do anything to calm the troubled waters my friend and her family are struggling to keep from drowning in right now.

I cannot seem to post the video here, but I am providing the link if you want to listen. I think it will touch your heart.

Bridge Over Troubled Water

There is so much pain and suffering among so many. Not just people I love, but all over the world, people are drowning in troubled waters. God, please show me how to be a bridge. 

Much love,




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