I’m not sure why, but I have wanted to write on the subject of grief for a really really long time. Maybe it’s the personal experience and intimacy I have shared with it; maybe it’s the offhand experience of watching dear dear friends and family members lose those closest to them; maybe it’s both, but when it comes to grief, there are just a few things I have discovered that for whatever reason am being compelled to write down and share with you.
No two people grieve the same way. No two people process grief, loss the same way. And because of that, it’s difficult to create a formula that works when it comes to comforting our grief or the grief of those around us. If loss has taught me anything, it’s that there are no words that can be spoken, no action that can be performed that will lighten the pain of loss and grief. Grief is just one of those awful human truths we just have to live through, feel and overcome. And overcoming grief has no timetable. I appreciate the ideals behind the “Five Stages of Grief” but as anyone who has grieved can tell you, grief doesn’t follow a pretty little chart. It’s sticky and messy and you don’t know where it starts nor where it ends. It surrounds you and consumes you and let’s you go when you least expect it.
It’s a mess y’all… this thing we call grief.
And as those surrounding individuals who are grieving, it is of the utmost importance that you know that cliches and pretty words only more deeply wound those who mourn, who grieve. I remember encountering those who meant well when I first met grief at eight years old… cliche’s like “She’s in a better place” and “She’s watching over you, she would want you to keep living life” so infuriated and paralyzed me, that it took over a decade to feel all of the grief, all of the feels and finally let go. Silence, friend. Silence is the best remedy for a grieving friend. A strong, quiet presence who will just… sit with them. Sit with you. A fierce, strong yet quiet companionship is the true testament of a good friend in the dark and weary season of grief.
I’m not grieving. Not currently. Not for myself or anyone I’ve lost. But, like I’ve mentioned before, dear friends, family… I’ve seen loss surround so many people I love in the last few months and I feel their pain. I feel their loss like it’s mine and I remember all too well what that feels like.
I don’t know why I wrote this blog today. But it has been on my heart for a really really long time. And, if this is for you… know that I’m with you and I’m for you and I’m so very sorry for your loss. I am here to listen or to vent or to cry with or to just sit with. I am here. Stranger. Friend. Both. I’m here. And though you feel alone, you’re not. I promise.