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.
8 thoughts on “Holding Space”
This is so timely for me. I a dear friend who lost a child in a violent way and her death resulted in the death of her unborn child.
Thank you for this article.
I am so sorry, Nancy. I am glad you can be there to weep with your friend. It’s the ministry of presence.
Many years ago my best friends father died. I had not experienced death and did not know what to do or say. Did not even know what went on. Afterwards, I received the sweetest Thank You note from her. She wrote, that during the entire experience when she would looked around, she would always see us (my husband too). We were just there. Through it all. Brought her great comfort and she felt how much we loved her. I learned that day, sometimes we don’t have to say a thing…
Love and pray peace, comfort and strength for you and yours April !
That is the sweetest story. Great example of holding space. Much love to you too, Friend!
WOW !!! Nailed it Sister !
Thank you! You know a thing or two about “holding space.” Love ya!
This spoke deeply to me since the recent loss of Bro Jerry & Nick’s dad, Deacon Chris Gregory, both to Covid 19. I will pass this along to others.
I was so sorry to hear about Nick’s dad. Praying for y’all, especially Nick and Sarah. Much love to you.