A prayer for my friend, whose son just died.
G*d, I ask You to help my friend, who is desperately grieving for her son. I ask for Your help because I believe in Your infinite ability to help us to mend our hurt when we're open to healing.
I believe that she is open. I know her hurt is deep, but I believe she knows that if the rest of her life is destroyed by this, it will dishonor his memory. And I know just how much she wanted his life to have positive meaning.
I know this because I watched her struggle with him, over the phone, when years ago, he didn't feel like going to school. She wasn't trying to control him...it was because she knew, firsthand, how limiting a lack of education can be. She's always wished she had more schooling, and wanted her boy to have what she didn't. G*d, You know how proud she has been that with her encouragement, her son not only finished school, but had decided to go to college this fall.
And I know this because she had the most amazing smile on her face when she brought photographs of him to my cubicle...pictures of him dressed in his football jersey, happily towering over the others in his circle of friends...pictures of him dressed for homecomings and proms...pictures of him with his girlfriend.
And I know this because even though she wasn't crazy about that girlfriend - who was pretty troubled - she admired the compassion her son had for others. "He knows she's a handful, but he loves her anyway." And when he was sad over their breakup, she worried, "He's so sensitive. He's got such a big heart."
So, G*d, I know that You have the power to help her know every day what a special boy she raised. "My baby," she'd say, after every endearing story she'd tell.
I know that You can help her remember - not so much right now, as we join her in her sorrow and memories, but more in the quiet evenings of would-be-birthdays - the goodness of her relationship with him. And that while his time here didn't last as long as we would have liked, this time meant something. Their love was good. It was important and lasting. Help her know that she was the reason for his handsome, genuine smile and generous heart.
While I believe he was not ready to go, I think it is significant that at the moment he died, he was surrounded by people he enjoyed so much. They've all survived. Please protect them from the feelings of guilt they may have for surviving. They need to be here. And they need to help my friend remember her son.
G*d, please give me skills to help my friend while she is finding her way through this dense sadness. I know she will need support. It may be difficult to see her so devastated. Please make me the best listener. And when she needs me to speak, help me say the things you want her to hear.
In the spirit of Your loving and accepting Son, I pray... Amen.