Do you know what it means to “hold space” for someone?
The definition for holding space is “to be supportive of someone’s needs,” but I especially like the visual picture that it gives of a friend with her hands held open, willing to simply be present in a time of need.
When we encounter someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one, yet we don’t know what to say, that’s actually okay. Usually a person in that situation doesn’t need us to say anything. They most likely just appreciate the fact that we are there, acknowledging their pain; holding space for them.
The apostle Paul lays out these simple instructions in Romans 12:15,
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
Can it really be as easy as that? I believe so.
After the loss of three close family members, a sweet friend wrote these words to me, “I don’t know what to say except I’m so sorry and my heart is broken for you, and I don’t understand. But I believe. And so I pray.”
Even though this friend of mine didn’t know the words to say to make me feel better, she actually did exactly what I needed her to…she wept when I wept and she held that space for me.
Perhaps there is someone in your life who just needs to know that you are sad for them or it could be that there is a reason to rejoice and celebrate. Whatever the occasion, be a friend who is willing to hold that space.