Fragile People

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Fragile People

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Be gentle with fragile people. People who have lost a beloved spouse or a child are the most fragile of all.

Their tapestry was supposed to include that person for the rest of their life, and now they are searching for strands to fill in the spaces that can no longer carry the image of the one they have lost. Don’t be impatient with these fragile people and think you can force them into a pattern of where you think they should be. They can look back and see the image of who they were in the previous tapestry, but a big gaping hole is left for who they will now become.

How does a husband or wife go on when half of them is no longer there? The two become one and now they are shredded into a million strands that have to somehow be picked up and woven back into the tapestry of their life, but with a different outcome than the planned one. How do you start to weave again when you have lost a child? The thought of them not being in future family pictures or getting to see their own children be born or grow old is too much to bear.

Many days of helplessness come as you hold onto the strands and cry bitter tears because you don’t know how to weave them into something new. Slowly single strands start to go over gaping holes only to be ripped out and reworked again. How do you ever feel life is normal again?

Some people are able to pick up the threads and move on with a new spouse, but for some that is not an option. Everyone deals with grief differently. You can’t force them to weave a new pattern, it has to be in their own space and time. When you tell someone, it is just time to get over it, or you have grieved long enough, the pattern of their life becomes erratic and not the slow steady picking up of one strand at a time and putting it where it is the most beautiful and tranquil for them.

Over time the chaotic mind jumble starts to sort itself out and is able to pull out memories that bring comfort and peace. Regrets are let go and a looking forward to when we will see them again begins to fill in some of the gaping holes. We start to be grateful for the time that God allowed us to have them in our lives and the lessons, growth and companionship we gained from them having been there. We see every moment and every life as a gift, and we learn to not take them for granted.

Be thankful if you do not understand fragile people because you have never had your tapestry shredded right before your eyes as you grasp to hang on to every strand.

God is very concerned with how we treat those who have suffered great loss, and He does take notice.  Psalm 68:5 refers to God as "a father of the fatherless, a defender of widows."

Try to put yourself in the place of having to continue without your life's companion or without the unique talents and love of one of your children and treat fragile people how you would want to be treated.

Consider Proverbs 29:20, “Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Conversely, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24). Your motives may be out of a heart of caring, but please think before you speak so that your words do not cause added trauma.