Paul F You have to let people tell their stories.
I am a retired pastor living comfortably in Puyallup. I’d say before the pandemic my mental health was really pretty stable. As the pandemic progressed the depression became more deep-rooted. There is just a lot of grief and suffering right now.
We need to be slower to give advice and quicker to listen and put an arm around the shoulder.
A lot of tears will have to be shed.
My brother-in-law passed away of brain cancer very quickly at the age of 65, and my sister can’t have a funeral service. She can’t gather her family and her faith community around her to celebrate John’s life or ease the ache in her heart. I think as we come back together, as we’re able to gather again, we need to be listening to one another.
We need to make a commitment individually to help the people around us. Not just our tiniest circle of friends and family but to that broader group of people we might call acquaintances.
People need to go back to those painful places in order to heal. They have to talk it through. They have to work it through. And they need people they can lean on, people that will listen, people that will provide some affirmation to their pain. We can be present for them — present with them.