If you feel the need to paste on a smile when talking to a grieving parent
If you question someone else's grief
If you doubt someone else's grief
If you can't understand it and can't even acknowledge it
If you find yourself wishing they would just stop, shut up, stop grieving so publicly, get over it, stop being a drama queen
If you support them publicly but disavow them privately
If someone else's child dies but you need a break
If you find yourself bulldozing your way through life trying to prove to everyone how happy you are
Think about why that might be.
The death of a child has a way of forcing parents into a no-bullshit zone.
This affects not only the grievers, but the people around them. It can stir up issues we thought we had firmly under control.
We do things when we're ready. This is not about forcing anyone to face anything they're not ready to. But dealing with a grieving parent may make you as ready as you're ever going to get.
This could be an opportunity to start to face some of your own unresolved issues in your life
An opportunity for growth.
Let yourself be transformed by someone's life, someone you were looking forward to meeting, who would have become part of your life, part of your kids' life if you have them, someone you would have given your love to, someone who was forcibly and unexpectedly taken from the picture. Someone who would have made your life better.
Tap into your grief about that loss, and other losses in your life, and let your heart be cracked open.
A parent who has lost a child, in their grief, they are right where they need to be.
If you can't meet them there, for short periods of time, think about why that is. What is it about your life that makes you unable to meet them where they're at. This is not about forcing you to take down your coping walls. But sometimes this is what happens when someone you were prepared to love, maybe even loved already, dies. It chips away at what we thought were pretty good coping mechanisms. Those mechanisms might stand while things are stable, but when things become not ok, they're not sustainable. This is a suggestion to consider finding a way to remove a few bricks from those coping walls. Get a better view, a different perspective. Stop hiding from reality.
Grieving parents are told to be strong, be brave. They do this daily. What about you? Can you "be strong" in the face of their grief? Can you find a way to be brave? Strength and courage do not mean putting up walls. It means bearing witness to someone else's experience without fighting against it. And trusting you will be ok if you do.
|Vancouver from Cypress Mountain early this morning|