Posted by: Lori Schmidt Lutze | January 16, 2010

i just helped him cry

The New Year has started with a big, old roar!  And not in a good way.  And it’s only the 16th day of January–we’re just half way through the first month.  So, I’m not feeling especially funny today.  And even Joyce sheds a tear now and then.

So far this year I’ve attended three funerals, heard about two nasty doctor’s visits which explained necessary surgeries, and then, of course, there’s Haiti.  And everybody is praying for Haiti, which is a good thing, but it’s easy to pray for Haiti from your nice cozy bed and working toilet.  How do you grasp the magnitude of the thing?

And the funerals.  They’ve been awfully sad.  It’s difficult to see the look of grief etched on people’s faces.  And the more I’ve talked to other people about this, the more I’ve heard about lots of other funerals, too.  Why are so many people checking outta here so quickly after the Happy New Year has just began?

At the most recent funeral I ran into a friend who’d moved out-of-state nine years ago.  She and her hubby came back for the service.  It was so nice to see her and although we’ve lost touch with each other except for Christmas cards, seeing her again reminded me how much I liked her.  Does that ever happen to you?  You don’t see someone for a long time and maybe you even forget about them a little bit, and then——-boom——you’re reminded of how much you liked them.

Long Lost Friend didn’t especially want to come back for the funeral because of the January weather in Wisconsin which is mostly cold, gray, and drab.  I could see her point.  So now let’s make our New Year list a little bigger:  lots of funerals, Haiti, gray skies.  Ohhhh boy.  Do I need a gallon of Hot, Creamy Sausage Dip or what?

So I don’t mean to bring you down, but even Joyce has to deal with real life.  She’d much rather be at the party–which is okay because most funerals conclude with a little party, but some don’t.  And then you’re just left standing there after the service.  All alone.  And the skies are gray.

So, here’s what I’m thinking:

O New Year

Bring us your light

Bring us your joy

For those who’ve been shaken, bring them to solid ground

For those who’ve had their hearts broken, sew them back up

For those who are feeling a little worried or overwhelmed or cold from the weather, light their way and keep them warm

Remind us of the rainbow

View Image  

And what do you say to others in difficult moments?  I don’t remember where I read this, but I really liked it:

A four-year-old child had a next door neighbor who was an elderly gentleman and he’d recently lost his wife.  Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy just said, “Nothing…I just helped him cry.”



  1. Thank you.

  2. Oh, I am so sorry. Not much more I can say, except funerals suck. I lost my Dad in early December, just in time for the happy holidays of Christmas. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be glad. There is a season and time for everything. Without sadness, we’d never know gladness.

    As for Haiti, I can’t help but be happy by this….I know that is so weird to say….but I worked with a man from Haiti many years. He grew up in the poorest part of Port-Au-Prince. Against all odds became a successful business man. His life was dedicated to helping Haiti. Fundraisers, sponsorships, and medical assistance. I was very close to his admin who also went to Haiti. She was sooo sad one day. A village they worked with was entirely swept away due to a flood. An entire village! Not one word was said on the news. Her heart was broken and no one cared in America.

    NOW, everyone cares. These people have our attentions and our hearts. Aid is pouring in. Donations, water, medical and workers. This is wonderful! I have heard many people say how they want to adopt an orphan. These people and their stories will never be forgotten again. So as sad as it is and was, I am grateful for the support and attention they are getting now. Grateful finally that those lost villages are remembered.

    Hang in there!

  3. My little Danny is the guy that just “helps me cry.” Don’t know why, but every day I’m hearing of someone’s death…I personally haven’t been to any funerals this month (and am hoping the ones that are inevitable hold off for a few more), but my heart still aches for those who are missing those who have passed away. I feel the same way, it just seems like a sad time, and then Haiti has to have this horrible tragedy (one of our former neighbors is somewhere down there–unaccounted for). We need spring to feel life blooming! Thanks for this post…

  4. Thank you. I lost my mother in 2009 and just this week found out that my best friend from high school lost her mom and a neighbor died yesterday. I think every loss reminds us of all the ones that came before it.

    You’re right that we’ll never really understand the magnitude of devastation in Haiti without being there. It’s wonderful to know so many are opening their hearts to help. We need to remember that we really are all connected.

  5. It is an amazing and great informative blog… I really love to read some more! – xploder

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