Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. Genesis 45:1-2
Imagine if you will being in the same room with this man after he told his people to leave the room. The man begins weeping loudly in front of these foreigners. It’s so loud that the others outside the room hear him.
- All those years of pent up emotion come streaming down his face.
- The stresses and ups and downs of his life.
- Being sold into slavery by his own family, the brothers who he was weeping in front of right now.
- Being left alone in prison a few times.
- Sadness perhaps because he missed out on life with his family.
Joy over being reunited with his family after all these years.
There was quite a lot to be emotional about.
Those who feared him the most – his brothers – would have been even more terrified because up until he spoke, they had no idea why he wept.
Of course his brothers couldn’t console him because that would have been inappropriate. In a different setting with family and loved ones, it would have been wholly appropriate to console.
Consoling someone is a patient task. Sometimes it’s just being in the same room with someone for hours in silence. Words are not always necessary. Emotions ebb and flow as memories fade in and out.
But like anything, grieving and emotional pain are processes that people have to go through in order live a healthy, well-balanced life. If the grieving process is ignored or pushed under the rug, the process will be carried out at a time and manner you wouldn’t expect and not of your choosing. It’ll happen; you just don’t know when.
That’s why consoling those who are grieving are important tasks of friends and family members.