Have you ever noticed what police say in the television programmes when they they go and break bad news or they meet someone who has been recently bereaved. They tend to say “I am sorry for your loss”.
It seems the very least you should be able to say, so little in fact, it sounds trite, formulaic. Or could this response be Honest Christianity? As a children’s hospital Chaplain I have had to reflect on this a lot. My initial reflection was, “Is that all I’ve got?” It sounds so shallow, almost insulting to those who grieve. There must be more, surely my faith must have something more profound, more substantial, more God words of comfort and wisdom than this? I am supposed to know what I am doing, learned the skills necessary to represent the wisdom of Heaven and the heart of our loving God. Surely I should have words or actions that would bring consolation, comfort, a renewed trust in God’s love and comforting presence. After a while my conclusion became no, that’s it, “I am so sorry for your loss” is all I got.
For a while I was more embarrassed than relieved. Now, I just offer this to families, to other staff and students as a liberating gift. Maybe after a while, there maybe more to say, and perhaps I might share more of this in a later blog, but for now, for anyone one hurting out there and missing someone or something, “I am sorry for your loss”.