I can tell you in stark detail what I was doing when that startling phone call arrived. It’s one of those things you never forget because it catches you so in the dark. We expect our grandparents to pass on at some point, not that it makes it any easier. But a brother? That’s not the call I expected from my husband that day.
At the time of this writing, four months have passed since the whirlwind experience of buying next-day flights and dropping everything to go be with family. Some days, it’s as though this never happened. We don’t talk about it, we don’t think about it, we just go about our usual business. And other days, it’s like he just left us yesterday.
Grief is a funny thing. Just when you think you’ve passed it, something reminds you of the person who left you behind. And as a wife, balancing this delicate cycle can be really tricky. I mourn. I grieve this loss of a brother I hardly knew and I see the space he left in my husband’s heart. But that doesn’t mean I always know how to comfort him. My desire is to be a support in this difficult time, but where do we begin?
I’ve learned that prayer is the best place to start and today, I want to share with you five prayers that will support your husband through his loss.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us. We share in the many sufferings of Christ. In the same way, much comfort comes to us through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NCV)
When you don’t know what to do, pray that God would comfort him. Pray that the Lord would lift your husband up on Eagle’s wings and meet him in this time of grief. Ask the Lord to refresh your husband’s spirit and use this loss to refine him.
For our high priest is able to understand our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin. Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it. (Hebrews 4:15-16 NCV)
When your husband struggles with guilt, ask the Lord to strengthen him. It’s natural to wonder, “What if…” Amidst the pain, we wonder how we could have changed the outcome of the situation. If only I had called him more often. Maybe if I had just spent more time with her. It would be different if I had just… Satan wants to use this time as an opportunity to plant self-doubt and guilt surrounding this situation. He wants to tear us down and make this grief seem like an even greater burden to bury. His goal is to see your husband question his faith, himself, and his involvement in this person’s death.
Pray that our High Priest meets your man where he is. The Lord sees his hurts and wounds. He knows exactly what your husband needs in this moment. Surrender your husband to him and commit to praying this for your husband every day for the next few weeks.
They are blessed who grieve, for God will comfort them. (Matthew 5:4 NCV)
Praise God for the comfort he is already preparing for your husband. Thank the Lord for seeing the need and knowing exactly how to fill it.
But God even knows how many hairs you have on your head. Don’t be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows. (Luke 12:7 NCV)
Praise God for knowing all along that this day would come. As hard as it is to acknowledge, the Lord knew the appointed day, hour, minute, and second of this person’s passing. Praise him for the life this person lived and ask him to reveal this truth to your husband.
There is a time for everything, and everything on earth has its special season. There is a time to be born and a time to die. There is a time to cry and a time to laugh. There is a time to be sad and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a, 4 NCV)
Pray for strength to endure this season. Pray for your husband and your marriage; his siblings and his parents. Pray for extended family and friends. As your husband mourns, continue to pray for the strength of his spirit. You won’t always have the words to say. Despite you best efforts, you will not be able to heal this hole in his heart alone. Acknowledge your struggles before the Lord. Don’t be afraid to lay out your burden for your husband in this situation. Ask the Lord to guide you in how to comfort him and remember that the Lord is faithful. He will not leave you to weather this storm alone. He will walk beside you and strengthen you as you endure this season.