Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Grief from MY POINT of View

I have spent a lot of years counseling unfortunate people who must face loss and grief. I am good at it and I am grateful for that, because many people are not. Folks just don't know what to say or worse, say pretty inappropriate things. I do best with the reality of loss when I am honest about what I know and how I feel. I don't say" I know how you feel " but I do say that "I will be a safe haven for you and support you however you need, whatever you feel".

Many people ask why. " Why me?" I believe that to some questions there are no answers. I say, " I don't know why. " I do not say it will be okay because it's not now and may never be okay again. I think it's okay to be angry, and with me a grief stricken person can be any way they need to be at any particular time.

A lot of people reference God when confronted with grief. I do not believe in a God who loans children or calls them back early to heaven to be angels. I don't believe God calls anyone back to Him/Her. But I do believe that God or faith in some merciful, loving higher power is a source of hope when someone is grieving. I don't believe God had anything to do with wanting or willing a loss. But I do believe that faith is a wonderful antidote for the pain. I absolutely do not believe that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. Some people have unspeakable horrors visited upon them and I don't believe a loving God decides who can handle what or that it is intended to make you stronger.

In the case of a child's loss, I would never say, " You are lucky that you have more children. " I can't imagine that there is any consolation in hearing, " you are young; you can have more." Each and every one of us is a unique individual who cannot be replaced by another. The pain of loss for a specific person can't be minimized in any way.

In our lifetimes we will experience loss and we will be confronted with those around us who are grieving. It is simply the human condition. If we love, we are opening a door to loss. It is always okay to say, " I don't know what to say. "  Sometimes the best we can offer is a listening ear and a strong shoulder. And if you can do that, you are more than okay.