Q: My husband died six months ago, after almost 50 years of marriage. At first people came around and showed lots of concern, but now no one hardly ever visits or calls me. Don’t people realize how hard it is to lose someone you love? — L.N.S.
A: You’re right; people often don’t realize just how hard it is to lose someone we love. Perhaps your letter will encourage all of us to be more sensitive to those who are going through hard times. The Bible reminds us to “Carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).
The most important truth I can tell you is that even if others forget about your heartaches, God never does! He knows the hurts you feel, and he knows as well the empty place you have in your heart. Furthermore, he has promised to be with you, and even when sadness or loneliness overwhelm you, he loves you and wants to comfort you. If you have never done so, ask Christ to come into your heart and life today. His promise is for you: “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Then let me urge you to reach out and be a friend to someone else who is grieving or hurting. All around you are people who are lonely or fearful or facing uncertainty; ask God to help you be a friend to them. They need you, and you need them.
In addition, don’t forget your friends. Express gratitude for their kindness, and let them know you value their continued friendship. Remember: they may never have experienced the loss of a loved one and may not realize how deeply grief affects us. And take heart from Jesus’ promise: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or visit www.billygraham.org.