One Size Does NOT Fit All: Grief and Grieving

Today was an “off-from-work-day” and as is the custom of working folk around here I had a long list of “Things I Need To Do” but instead I spent time with my dog and on Facebook. Going through the feed on Facebook I stumbled across a post from a friend who had lost her sister a few months back. She was asking for advice about who and where she should go for grief counseling. I personally was not taken back by the fact that she so readily, and publicly, asked for advice and help. She knows the power of social media and is a pretty amazing person as well. In this light you can imagine her comment feed blew-up with suggestions.

There was a lot of love shown to my friend and heart-felt caring seemed to abound. Though one person tried to hijack her feed with negativity( I know what she is going through but I have no way of understanding it) there is something missing in most conversations about death: Death sucks and we Americans are terrible at grieving. And I have to admit that I had no idea about this process before I lost my Mom and Pops within a year of each other. One lesson I learned from this was the difference between empathy and understanding: Empathy is looking at the fire and saying it hot. Understanding is being in the fire and knowing it is hot.

So with this new understanding I grieved, and I did it in my own way and with my own time frame but I grieved. There is no wrong or right way to grieve. If done right it is hard work but beautifully too. We must simply allow ourselves to walk through the darkness and gray-tinged parts of grief and not really care if it looks different from how we had thought it would look like. But I can tell you this: There is light at the end of this journey and life does get better but I cannot tell you how. Just walk it out. One size doe not fit all. Embrace your path and it will lead to some amazing stories to share with others.

Peace my friends~ John





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