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TITLE: Grieving with a friend
By Carnation NS
04/09/05
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We are feeling sad for one of our brethren, a friend, whose wife died about 12 days ago. The sadness is deeper as he was not by her side when she died. You see, he is from another continent. His wife and family are left there while he came over here for his graduate studies. It must have been sad and painful to get this news, far away from home. His relatives did not want to tell him immediately as they were not sure how he would take it, and they did not want to disturb his studies, thinking that he might be in the middle of exams. They had to channel the news to another countryman, a fellow student here, and he told him the news nearly a week later. It was so sad to hear the news about a loved one’s death that way. Also, he could not go home immediately as his passport had to be renewed and was sent to his embassy, the nearest of which is in another country. So another week or so of waiting. No wonder the other night when we met him, he did not even recognize us at first. But we did not know the news then. He looked so lost, so serious, so sad. We just said good evening to him, and he even apologized for not recognizing us at once. We told him it was ok. And we went our way.

Should we have stopped to talk to him that night, instead of hurrying back to our own rooms? Sometimes I wonder how many people are suffering inside and yet we never really sensed that they needed some comforting or encouragement. It is probably because most of the time we are so focused on ourselves and on the things we have yet to do. May we always be on the look-out for souls that are in need. But we could not do this on our own. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit at all times, and we need to be sensitive to His leading to be able to respond to that need.

Later this afternoon we are going there to visit him. Even now I could not stop the tears from falling, as I felt his grief and sadness, and the sense of loss. May God grant him the comfort He has always promised to His children, as they trust in Him, and look up to Him especially in situations like this that are difficult to understand.

© 2005 Arlene Nietes-Satapornvanit
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