About the Author

Becky loves serving as (in)courage’s Community Manager. She is a speaker and author of No Better Mom for the Job. Becky is a huge fan of Voxer, Sunday naps, and championing women. She lives near Los Angeles and loves hiking shady trails with her husband and three spirited sons.

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  1. Becky,
    For my dad’s funeral, yes their were recent friends and neighbors of both of my parents, but there were a lot of people who knew only my mom…..her garden club, her ladies bridge group, her volunteer friends, her swim team. They didn’t really know my dad, but they showed up for her. I agree that funerals aren’t really for the person, but for the people left behind to grieve. No, you don’t have to say something profound. When Jesus showed up at the death of Lazarus, He, of all people, could have given a sermon or quoted apt scripture, but instead He just was near and He wept with them. The same is true for those struggling who are still living. If someone is home bound, recovering from a surgery or illness, show up. You don’t have to bring a meal….bring a pumpkin spice latte and just show up. Believe me, it means the world. Becky, I am so glad that your father accepted Christ into his life and is now with the Lord and free of despair here on earth.
    Blessings,
    Bev xo

    • Bev,
      The story of Jesus at Lazarus’ death is one of my favorites for all the reasons you mentioned. There is a time for sermons and there is a time for preaching compassion through our tears — and I agree, lattes always help too. Thanks for being the kind of friend who shows up and helps others do the same. xx

  2. Thank you for sharing your story and sharing some important lessons/reminders to step out and be there for people. Funeral or an operation, sickness or sadness. We need to show our love and Gods love by our acts of kindness to those that are in need x

  3. OH. Lump in the throat, Becky, because this was the situation for both my parents, lonely and sad, dysfunctional and bitter, their passing was hard for various reasons, but people who had never met THEM poured themselves out for me, and I was overwhelmed with gratitude.
    Blessings to you as you sort through the memories and find the grace.

  4. Becky,

    This reminds me of Job’s three friends. They came & just sat with him for seven days not saying a word. What comfort that is to know people care. People always want to share how to “deal” with something. Give a cliche’ answer or quip. All we really need is a hug or two. My church family was generous enough to hold a funeral for both my parents-even though neither attended that church. They also fed my family. That alone spoke volumes to me. They were showing Christ’s love to us through their actions. Now it’s my turn to spread that love. My elderly neighbor just lost her last living son. I quickly got some food together & sat with her. I listened to her talk & was just there for her. Each time i see her out I try to go & give her a hug. Tough when you lost both children & husband. She only has a granddaughter & her husband to care for her. I’m trying to just be there for her.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth, I can only imagine how your meals, listening ears, and warm hugs have ministered to your neighbor. I think it starts with eyes to see someone’s grief and then a willingness to respond. I’m so thankful your church family did that for you and now you’re doing that for someone else. Beautiful.

  5. “But they came to give a gift – the gift of presence.” I love this line. Recently I attended a dear friend‘s mom‘s funeral. I hadn’t seen her mom nor my friend for quite a while. But I knew deep down in my heart that my going to this funeral was on God’s heart as well. And that day I was on the receiving end of experiencing more of Him in my own life as well as seeing Him comforting my friend and her family. It’s all such a glorious mystery.

    • Indeed, Dawn! I had the same experience last year as well. Our showing up is never wasted. Blessings to you. So glad you were there for your friend and here with us at (in)courage.

  6. Dear Becky,
    First of all, I am so sorry for your loss. Secondly, thank you for sharing your experience. We often forget how
    important our presence can be.
    I just lost my daddy in April of this year (and my precious momma three months earlier). Friends form our church drove almost 200 miles just to be there with my husband and me for the funeral. I have yet to fully describe to them the profound effect their being there had on us.
    As a pastor’s wife I’ve attended many funerals for people I’d never met. Yes it was uncomfortable, “what do I say?” still runs through my mind…but I’ve learned that lots of hugs and a simple, I’m so sorry for your loss, go far.
    I will be praying for you in the days and weeks ahead.
    May the God of all grace and comfort wrap you in His arms…
    Robin

    • Robin,
      I’m so sorry for you losses, too. Losing both parents in a span of a few months is crushing. Sending prayers back your way that you will have friends who continue to walk with you in the grief by just seeing you and being there. xx

  7. Thank you for sharing. I am sorry to hear the news about your Dad passing. I can relate to your Dad’s funeral. My Dad passed away almost a year ago in November. The service was small with relatives, friends of mine. I was surprised how his service in being hockey coaches for my brother’s teams, serving on the baseball little league board, attending church years before his death didn’t bring any of those folks. It was indeed people to be there for us and not for my Dad. I am thankful for those who came to show their support and love. The church my deceased Grandmother attended kindly let us have the service there for my Mom and my Aunt who attends that church. Like you, I am missing my Dad and saddened that he is no longer here to share in memories. The one thing that brings me peace is his being with our heavenly Father and my Dad is no longer trapped in his Alzheimer’s body not being able to speak or walk. May your Dad’s being with our Lord bring you peace. We will one day see our Fathers again. Hugs

  8. I am sorry for your loss Becky. Thank you for sharing! When we are going through something, presence is one of the best presents. While words are often elusive, being “there” says more than words ever can.

  9. Becky,
    I wish I could hug you ….
    These heartfelt words and reminder is definitely something we all should try harder at . I definitely know that often, just presence, means so much more than any words.

    It definitely shows that you are blessed by so many who love and support you …

  10. Becky,
    I am sorry for your loss. This was a very touching sentiment you have recaptured for us, thank-you for sharing. Presence is a gift…………
    Sometimes in our grief we are reminded/taught understanding and acceptance too, such as it was for my parent’s services. I understood that those who would of liked to of attended couldn’t, and accepted that it was the circumstance, and not for their lack of caring. I have also been given the same grace at times when I couldn’t be there in body. But that’s when phone calls, notes or many other ways can help us reach out and be present too……

    Have a wonderful blessed day,
    Penny

    • Penny, you’re so right. The gift of presence can take many different forms. They all matter. They all show love and care for the one who is grieving. xx

  11. I see Jesus, in this and in you friend. Your carefully and thoughtfully chosen words tell a story of redemption, hope and healing because of our sweet Savior, present in your brokenness. Present through friends, being with. This is so beautifully written Becky. Thank you for sharing this part of your story with us, and helping us all to live a better story with each other.

  12. Spot on, Becky. It’s relieving to know we don’t have to know what to say or what to bring. Presence is a gift. I’ve learned too, from a dear friend, how incredibly impactful it is to go to the funeral. Just as you said…to show up for the ones grieving. To let them know they’re not alone. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad would be so proud of you and your family!

    • Thank you, Lisa. Reading your words brought a big lump to my throat. Yes…yes, my dad would be proud. 🙂 I so wish he would have had the pleasure of knowing my boys. He passed when Noah was a toddler, Elias a baby, and before Jude was born. My guess is he’s in the prime cheering section in heaven looking down on our adventures. No doubt your husband is there too, cheering for you and your remarkable crew. Much love, friend. xx

      • Thank you for this gentle reminder…I have sometimes felt I couldn’t go because I would get too emotional and weepy. I cry too easily, but I realize now, that maybe if I get “too” emotional it might not matter, the one who is grieving will know that others grieve too. I will try to be more concerned for my friend than how I look to others

  13. This is the greatest lesson I’m learning right now, the ministry of presence. I lost my brother this summer and while we had some friends show up for the funeral, we haven’t had people walk through grief with us. People who we consider our best friends have been absent and silent. It is devastating but I am learning to extend grace and forgiveness and I am also learning what people need in deep pain. They need actual voices and real time interaction. I fear text messages and social media have made us forget how profoundly important in real life exchanges are. I don’t expect answers or a fix. I just need people walking through the valley with us. Thanks for sharing this. I’m hoping more and more our culture becomes aware of how to best respond in grief because it is just a matter of time until it is our turn.

    • Oh, dear Elizabeth, my heart goes out to you in your profound loss. I’m so sorry. My brother drowned many years ago, in the midst of being estranged from our family (his choice), and I lived in a different state where no one knew him. Walking the path of grief is easier when shared, and I pray that others will come alongside you with their comforting presence.
      When my third child died at birth (I was eight months along), those closest to me needed me to “get over it” and return to my normal upbeat self. My perception of their lack of caring only compounded my grief, and I can so relate to your pain caused by the absence of your “best friends.” But, two women I had just met at church came alongside me, and out of that time of deep sorrow two of my dearest friendships were born. They listened and cared and loved me, with no expectations or time lines. And they gave me a beautiful baby shower when the Lord blessed me with another child. The three of us today remain close, in spite of many miles between us. I pray God will give you just what you need, as he did for me during those dark days. Praying for you even now.

    • Elizabeth and Judy,
      Thank you, sisters, for vulnerably sharing pieces of your stories. I’m so sorry for your losses and suffering. I would like to see us as a culture, us as a church, us as a sisterhood of believers get better at grieving and making space for those in pain. Loss isn’t something to get over, it’s something to walk through, something we will always carry with us. Elizabeth, I’m praying for you today as the ache for your bother is still so fresh. May God give others eyes to see and a willingness to come alongside you. xx