Posted by: Diane | April 16, 2012

Don’t Take My Grief Away

Grief.

You can read about it and watch others go through it but it’s tough to prepare because grief is unique – there’s no such thing as an expert and there’s no one way to go through it.  In 1969, Elisabeth Kubler Ross opened the discussion about grief by introducing the five stages of grief in her book, On Death and Dying but I believe this model is shallow and flawed.

From where I’m standing, grief tells the truth. It’s a natural response to any loss and it’s not necessarily linear or logical. It’s messy. Grief has grabbed and thrown me around over much and many in my life and I don’t want anyone to trivialize the intensity of the experience.

I don’t want anyone to take my grief away.

It’s not meant to be avoided – it’s meant to be experienced. I have learned that grief isn’t my enemy – it’s the process of healing that I need to embrace. It’s the healthy way to deal with a broken heart.

I once heard that “grief is like an onion. It comes off one layer at a time and you cry alot.”  I like that. It’s simple and it’s true. There are so many layers to grief as we face reality, respond and reconstruct…and it all takes time. We need to go through it – not around it.

As I walk beside my husband and his family, I want to be a safe person for them – someone who will listen to the stories over and over again. I can’t fully understand their grief because their words can’t explain their feelings. But I do believe that every grieving person want someone to try to understand. Children want to show you their “boo boo” and adults wants to show you their grief.

I want to be that set of ears.

I believe that listening legitimizes feelings and give credence to a person’s thoughts. No one wants their grief explained away. Grief is about walking along side people and lending your ears to their stories.

It’s hard to listen well. When it comes to grief, we don’t think we’ve done anything until we’ve said something but the reality is there is great power in presence without words.

I want to be those arms that hug and that shoulder to lean on.

Hang around, hug, hush and hope.  This is how you love those who grieve.


Responses

  1. Hi Diane. My sincere condolences to your husband and family. Chris is blessed to have a wise woman to journey with. The gift and art of presence is so very important throughout the entire process. There is ‘good’ grief. It’s a lot of work and takes us on a roller coaster ride for a long time it seems. Trust in a God who is present with us through it all helps ease the pains. Trust in the resurrection helps me as I experience the grief of my stepmom’s death in December. At this point in our liturgical season it is easy to recall and imagine the grief of those who gathered at the cross as their beloved Jesus died. I pray your grief will be a faithfilled journey, that your presence to Chris will be like the wings of an angel soothing his pain and that you too are surrounded by great support as you walk the journey. My prayers are with you.
    Peace. Debbie

  2. Thank you Diane, for today’s blog and actually all your posts over this past long week in the lives of the Lindstrom’s . I am totally with you on that thought. Listening is the greatest skill, only learned in the valley of experience. I have still to work on that quality, but I know how crucial it is to allow healing to come about in someone’s heart and life. Very insightful Diane! Thank you!

    I have forwarded your blog on to some friends who could use your encouraging words.

    Thank you!

    Until Wednesday ,
    Love, Barb

  3. My thoughts and prayers to Chris and his family during this stressful time. May God give him the comfort and peace that passes all understanding during the days ahead. Having lost many of my loved ones in the past, I know about grief and the sadness that follows. God will sustain you Chris and give you the strength you need. Mrs. ‘B’.

  4. I am Kathy’s Father in- law, G/G To 13 Great Children.
    Kathy, I an so sorry for your loss, Harry is in Gods hands now.
    You have what Diane has, The wonderful gift from God, To be able
    To put down on paper your thoughts and dreams. Dad xx


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