Solving the problem of grief is a problem in itself: if the ways you are broken cannot possibly be fixed, why does everyone keep giving you solutions?
Before my partner died, I was reading There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem by Dr. Wayne Dyer. It’s a great book. When I tried to pick it up after Matt died, though, I couldn’t get back into it. It just kept feeling wrong, like there was a burr inside the words that scratched uncomfortably. I kept trying to find comfort in the words I found comforting and helpful before, and those words were just not doing it.
I put the book down. I picked it back up. The burr rasped and the words didn’t fit, and I put the book back down.
It was several weeks later when my eye happened to catch…
There is no “magic pill” that will make the holidays easier to navigate nor any article that will provide all the answers to handling grief during any and all occasions. Grief isn’t a “one size fits all” thing, and neither are suggestions for walking through grief during any particular period of time or occasion. There isn’t anything that will take away the deep grief of the loss of a loved one, but perhaps there are suggestions on this link that will help in some way during this holiday season.
I’ve been catching up on reading the email notifications I get from blogs I follow. I know, I know. I’ve been slacking off in both my writing AND my reading!
Anyway, I wanted to share a link to a blog I read this morning written by a man whose daughter died three years ago. Like the letter I wrote to Jason on his 19th birthday, Mr. Cartwright wrote a note to his daughter not long before she died, telling her what an amazing young woman she was.
I’m so glad I took the time to listen to that little voice “prompting” me to write that letter to Jason on the morning of his 19th birthday. He didn’t get to see his 20th birthday. The pastor read the letter as a eulogy at Jason’s memorial service.
We have to take the time to tell the people we love how much we love them and how proud we are of them when we have the chance. We have to slow down our busy lives enough to spend meaningful time and have meaningful conversations with those we love. That chance may never come again.
No guilt trip; just a friendly reminder. I’m sure we all try to do the best we can with the time and energy resources we have.
Over the last several years we have provided articles and interviews on a variety of topics on how to assist a loved one through the journey of restoring balance in their life after a loss. I have put together a resource list below for you to explore and/or pass on to a loved one that might benefit from these tools.
If there is a specific topic that you would like us to include in one of our upcoming newsletters, please email us.
This is my sincere wish and prayer for all bereaved parents this holiday season – and all through the years that it takes to integrate such a huge loss into the fabric of our lives – that more gentleness and caring would be shared with those who have lost someone especially dear, that more gladness and warmth would be unconditionally shared, that time would be time taken amidst the daily and holiday bustle to recognize the depth of grief behind the mask and the silence of the face, and that a hand of genuine and continued friendship and love would grasp those who are hurting and who so badly need comfort. Sometimes those who deeply grieve aren’t transparent with their grief (for wide and varied reasons of their own); sometimes people around those who deeply grieve don’t take the time to notice or don’t take the time to do anything about it.
My Christmas wish is that you feel loved and cherished this holiday season.
If I had known what trouble you were bearing;
What griefs were in the silence of your face;
I would have been more gentle and more caring,
And tried to give you gladness for a space.
I would have brought more warmth into the place,
If I had known.
If I had known what thoughts despairing drew you;
(Why do we never try to understand?)
I would have lent a little friendship to you,
And slipped my hand within your hand,
And made your stay more pleasant in the land,
If I had known.
[From The Sabbath Recorder: Volume 82. American Sabbath Tract Society, 1917]
As a bereaved parent, especially one trying to promote understanding of what it’s like to be “on this side of the fence,” I notice and appreciate helpful resources. I’d like to recommend taking a look at Kristine Brite McCormick’s blog, Cora’s Story. Kristine has written a free eBook, When a Friend’s Baby Dies, that contains not only helpful suggestions following the death of baby, but also contains suggestions applicable following the death of a child. I highly recommend downloading and reading her eBook and her entries.