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HONOURING PAIN: How people respond(ed) to (my) GRIEF (post)


In the spirit of community, here are two responses from dear friends with the wisdom and generosity of spirit I can only hope for when when I have been through as much as they have. Tell me this doesn't just knock your socks off …

May I be allowed to give some advice, dear Jon? 

Be kind to yourself. Appreciate the blessing of occasionally not knowing that you are hurting. But be kind, all the time. Your hurt is there and needs to be made room for. Be kind, not indulgent. Be gentle. Allow yourself all the rest and solitude you can afford. Listen to what you really need without wallowing in your pain.  

As your gentleness increases so will your appreciation of how [your siblings and “the” children], how they are all living this very deep grief in their own way. At their own rhythm.  And you will help each other to live the life in front of you.  Honour your wisdom in choosing community over security. 

And keep your mind, your heart, open. Maybe, eventually, you will see a window of possibility that to ‘muck up’ with your path is the way for you to go.

In sharing, in writing the way you do, you find new depths in your grief, you honour your pain. 

Or how about this:

I think that your posting on grief really touched a number of points typically—and sadly—missed. I believe, as you imply,  that being grieved becomes a social state of being, like being a parent or spouse. And it never leaves.

The discussion of community was really good, especially related to PTSD. Interestingly people with the strongest sense of community have the lowest rates of suicide, as Emile Durkheim discovered over a century ago.

I believe you are right that grief never ends. It seems to ebb and flow, overcome us and release us, without termination or evident plan.You must be exasperated when people tell you that you’ll get over it. Why should you get over it? If you’ve loved someone deeply, grief forever connects you...and keeps them, paradoxically, fully alive in their complete absence.

Jon Mendelsohn