We will all experience grief in our lives. And when we are met with that grief we will learn that there are hundreds, thousands of books on the subject. We could never read them all to get to our healing. There are countless ways to help heal our grief naturally. Yoga, meditation, exercise, nature, eating healthy, writing, and so many more. And? Empathy. When we share our story with others it is met with empathy and that heals our internal pain just a little each time.
When my late husband died I didn't know how to put into words to people in person what I was feeling. They would come to my house, knock on the door to drop off a casserole, and I would welcome them into my home. They would walk through my front door and their eyes would meet my children's toys, and pictures of a happy family of four on the walls, and tears would start falling down their face. I would stand their numb. Me consoling them. "It's ok", I would say. "We're going to be ok." They would ask, "How are you doing?" And I would say, "I'm ok. I will figure it out." What did I really want to say? So many things. Hundreds of things. I wanted to reach out to that person and hug them. I wanted to cry like a child and tell them how my heart was on fire and that I wanted to die. I wanted my pain to be met with empathy but I didn't know how to reach out. So instead I consoled them because I am good at that. Instead I met their pain with my own empathy.
What do we desire when we are grieving? We hope for a place for our pain to land. An ear that will listen and not say, "I know." or "I understand." We long to be able to unlock the cage in our hearts that holds all of our sadness and release it....little by little over time by talking with others who have also experienced grief in their life. When our pain is met with another's empathy it is healed just a little bit. It's human. It's what humans need. Lock up your pain and tell no one and it will have no chance to be met with love to help it to know the way out of your heart.
Yes, you can experience grief and find great relief of your emotions through exercise. Go for a morning walk, or a grueling hike, or do a session of yoga and your mood will change...just a little. You will feel a little bit better to be able to handle life while grieving. But your pain? It's still there. Your wound is still inside of your heart just waiting for another person to say, "I lost someone too. My heart was broken. It hurt like hell. I'm so sorry this happened to you. Want to tell me your story?" Your heart is waiting for this. Your soul is crying out for this. Tell your story, hold a strangers hand, let the tears fall down your cheeks, and you will let go of some of that pain. All of it? Of course not. The wound remains just a little until we too leave this earth. It's part of love and loss. You can't erase the wound. But you can soothe it with empathy. You can nurture it with love and kindness from another.
How have I healed my own pain this way? My writing. Whichever angel whispered into my ear after my husband died and told me to write......that angel was the beginning of my own pain being met with empathy. Sometimes we get the greatest kindness and listening from people we don't even know. I started writing my pain. Opening up my flaming heart and telling of what it felt like inside of my soul. And what happened when I did this? My pain was met with empathy from people all over the world. I get comments, emails, letters from people from the United States, England, New Zealand, Holland, South Africa and beyond. You see? Pain and grief is universal. We all feel it and experience it at some point in our lives. When we are able to tell our story and hear the words from others it helps. It's helps the fire in our hearts to go down....just a little. We feel less alone. My pain has been healed each time I hit publish on my writing. Every time all of you reach out and take the time out of your lives to write me a beautiful email to tell me that this same tragedy happened to you, or that you lost a child and you know what grief is like, or that my writing speaks to your soul or brightens your dark dreary days.........each time one of you does this...I am healed...a little bit more.
Our pain is healed by others.
Tell your story. Join a support group. Find a place for your pain to land on the ears of someone who has also experienced deep heartbreak....not only learned about it from a text book but actually personally experienced it.
My vision? To create a small healing circle of people. We come together and each share our story. We don't get into the gory details of something like a suicide but we talk about what that death did to our hearts. We create a safe and loving environment for others to talk about their loss. What will this do? It will connect hearts. It will be a room full of empathy to heal our wounds.
Can we fix another's pain? Can I fix your pain? We have to acknowledge that we cannot change what happened to someone and we cannot change the way they view that tragedy. What can we do? Meet their pain with love, empathy, and compassion.
We can listen.
We can offer our help.
We can offer a hug or hold their hand.
We can let them know that they are not alone.
You are not alone.