When I am asked, Why do you do this work?” or “How can you work with people in grief?” My initial answer is that I am honoring my daughter’s memory as I go about this important work. Leah was and remains a bright light in our lives. In doing this work, I hope to bring that light to people who need to see that light in the shadow of grief that they are under.
We wanted to give back to others, something of the lessons that we have learned along the way.
We chose to do this work based upon our experience of working through our own despair and grief. Our company name comes from where we found ourselves at the time; “being with grief”. These 3 simple words hold so much. The act of being that describes your awareness of your present state, and “with grief” as we found ourselves steeped in the turmoil of loss and pain. All our unmet expectations of her life that were cut short never to be realized.
So that our grief work comes from our hearts to others with hearts broke open.
Sometimes it seems like we are all “Beings” with grief, because we continue, throughout our lives to have grief visited upon us. Some grief, we barely recognize; the traffic jams on the way to work or the annoyance of standing in line for something we need. Then there is the larger grief, that slam us to the ground and grinds us down. It is deciding whether to pick ourself up and carry on that can seem like an unsurmountable challenge. It it brutally illustrates the reason why this work is important.
It isn’t easy to open up to each other and make the effort to expose the wounded individual that struggles with the pain of loss. It can be especially difficult for a man to share the pain with anyone. Men often choose isolation because we are taught that we should grieve alone. If you ever stumbled as a child and were told to walk it off, you were conditioned to accept what happened, deny the feeling and make the best of it.
This perpetuates the myth of self-protection from our own feelings and emotions. That showing our vulnerability somehow makes us weaker. That we are somehow protected by not showing our feelings. That it is safer to stuff your feelings than to share them with your mate or a friend that can listen without making a judgement. Not being aware of our feelings numbs us to our pain but also numbs us to any other feeling. Apathy can be the result, you can quit caring and that is not a path that a marriage or a relationship can survive.
I believe that allowing our vulnerability to show makes us stronger. Why are we afraid of being in a position to be judged as human? We all have our list of strengths frailties and flaws. Particularly in marriage, our flaws are on showcase for our partner who sees all of them and loves us no less. It is a lesson that I learned and that I share even when it feels like I am shouting into the wilderness. I’ll be sharing more about husbands and wives in future posts. I would like to hear your comments or contact me on our website.
Since I began grief counseling this past week to make sense of my precious husband’s sudden passing, I am feeling so much lighter and more at peace with his death. I can definitely see what you mean about bringing the light to people who are living in the shadow of grief. Thank you for doing this important work.
Thank you for your encouraging words. Doing this work can be a challenge when the people you work with (and for) are faced with change. Especially, when change that comes at a difficult low point and being unprepared for what is asked of them.