What does grief teach us?

What does grief do to us?

What does grief show us…about ourselves…and others?

What does grief teach us?

…All this when we can’t imagine we have to GRIEVE.

We all dislike that word grief I would think…

There is SO much pain connected to that word…

And what it means…and what we have to go through…

But…

Can grief teach us…in ways we can’t see when we are so deeply immersed in such intense pain?

I have found…it does…

It is a fierce teacher…just like the death…

Can we avoid grief…and try to run through it? Or try to ignore it…and sleep through the first year…the second year… and on and on? Can we stuff it inside our broken heart and tell ourselves it won’t hurt us to do that?

Oh my… The possibilities are endless really…in trying to avoid the grief that takes over after the death of our child…loved ones…

It invades our mind, body…and soul…

As well as our relationships…and jobs…and the everyday busyness we took for granted…before

So what did I do…with grief?

I can’t remember it all… But I know I was so lost that I had to find help… HELP.

I somehow felt pushed to seek help…out of desperation… I had no idea of how to function…and I could see…that no one I knew could help me…

baby steps…

It wasn’t easy…

It’s not meant to be… I’ve learned this… I’ve seen this.

Like you… I had to find my own ways too… To survive…

Grief taught me though

Yes… It is a masterful teacher

Through the pain of loss…and the massive confusion and missing and the NEED to make sense of Scott’s sudden death… It’s almost as if I was held captive…by it all…

Grief insisted I search for help and open up to new people in my life that knew more than I did…even when I could not easily find them…

It forced me to go where I needed to…and listen to that which I had never known before…to cry and fight and insist I could not do what they knew was “best”…for me…

When in the depths of such volatile pain and anguish…words must be shared…and yet are not fully heard… Until…

They are heard…

Desperation in grief demanded I listen…and try to absorb what I could not see clearly…or understand…

My own thoughts and words…repeated over and over…and over and over…and over and over again…

Did not bring me the answers…I so needed and wanted…and cried out for…

And then… I realized I had to do grief differently…

Because grief was the transition…between Scott’s dying…and my finding ways to open up to the reality of my life…

Grief comes…

It has purpose

It is the transition, the teacher… It is forceful, bold, and it comes with great intention to move us…not always in the directions that appear to benefit us…but in time…we see that too…

What I learned…is we cannot sit still for long…because the overpowering pain and missing and chaos force us to…move

…to transition from ALL that the death of someone we so love and miss…to the knowing that
we are changed

Our lives are changed

The reality of life

We cannot control it…it controls us… Until we see what we can do…for ourselves

And at some point in time… we see the need…or feel it so deeply…for something new

Help me! I am so angry! …I am so lost! …No one understands me!

Oh my GodI am exhaustedand feel so alone

Honestly…

Grief is what showed me who I was in those tumultuous years…

It demanded I see myself as more…or less…or in helping others or in growing…in being grateful…and forgiving…

We cannot make grief go away…we have to work through it…and work with it too…

Each moment…each day…every conversation has the ability to teach us…to open our eyes to see more… to make us reflect…or react…

Grief awareness…is that it IS there… It IS our anger… It is our pain… It is our journey…our spiritual journey… It creates and then it teaches…

I can only tell you that the ways you reach out are the ways you need…and my ways are my ways… I don’t need to put them out there…only to reflect back and see who I am…what I know now…and share…to hopefully help you see this journey is one of pain…it comes…it is one of hope…and transition and hard work…and change…and trusting in the signs and the love around us…and knowing it all comes as it comes…

Grief teaches… Death teaches…

I know we cannot change the certainties in life… But we are here to learn from them…digging deeper into our pain and grief to find ourselves in new ways…

This week is the Compassionate Friends National Conference in Chicago… I am presenting a workshop there titled Who Am I Now?

I have found after doing this workshop for several years with many bereaved parents…that ultimately we all DO change…

In seeing ourselves as more compassionate and caring…wanting to reach out and help others on this journey that nearly kills us…and finding greater meaning in life… That we can survive the grief…and take more and more steps towards greater understanding… It is work… It does not come easily… But this the journey of life and death…and hope and healing…

Always remember… Scott writes this with me…  And he adds…

Mom’s journey IS different than yours…but similar in many, many ways. Her spiritual journey with me was opened up through her desperation in finding answers and helping herself. Trusting this grief journey is opening you up to the NEW is what can push you towards greater understanding too…

And even though I was always present as she worked through her grief…at times I was silent…because I knew she had to do this work…in ways only she could.

Love comes in all ways on this grief journey…

…We’ll be back on Tuesday…with more about the Compassionate Friends Conference…
The learning continues

Love always…
xox

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