Jesus said: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Mourning is not the melancholia that bemoans all things.(1)
To mourn is to sorrow deeply for and with others. A sorrow, indeed, an ability and a willingness to suffer for and with others that arises out of the recognition of the essential and abiding fragility of the human body and mind. Each of us, every day, is susceptible and, one day, will succumb unto death to illness or injury.
Therefore, to mourn is to acknowledge the constant need – my need and, dare I universalize my sense of things and say, our need – for the comfort of care.
What does this look like for me?
When I am mourning, my eyesight is sharpened. I can see in the creases of your countenance the lines on which the message of your grave need is scripted, even before you (and even if you do not) give voice to it.
When I am mourning, my hearing is accentuated. So, if (when) you do speak, I can listen as much to the silences between your syllables as the words you share and detect the deeper echoes of your heart’s sorrow.
When I am mourning, I die to myself, so to live for you; holding out to you in my hands, offering to you my heart to beat in harmony with yours; creating a duet, a stronger song of the shared care of comfort.
(1) For reasons of some less than edifying tutelage during my formative years, I long have tended to lean toward pessimism. Thus, the blessedness of being mournful as Jesus teaches as opposed to being moody and gloomy, as I well know how to do, was a difficult lesson for me to learn and to apply.