Genesis 37:28–36 ‘Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days.’ (v34)

The brothers lied and saw the devastation that lie brought to their father, Jacob, and yet they could not admit the terrible truth, even if it might have brought comfort to the old man.

Bringing comfort to those who mourn is not easy. Death is not a place in which we want to linger. It is easy to slip into a ‘I must make things better’ mode rather than just sitting with someone in their loss. Yet often those who mourn simply need to know the comfort of another being with them in their pain, but this can often feel uncomfortable to the supporters.

So often we want to run from death and pain, meaning that our so-called comfort does not always meet the need of the person who mourns. Facing the pain and sitting with the loss is a necessary part of coming to terms with it. Allow the tears to flow as they need to.

For some that can be a quick process; for some it will take a long time. Each person’s journey of loss is unique, and space needs to be given to the person who mourns for them to do it their way. The support of a good friend can be such a blessing in a time of loss.

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.