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Finding A Way


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Finding a way to live with grief is unique. We can all share experiences with grief that strike a chord with others but the whole experience is personal.


I observed a young mother whose husband had died, explaining to a teenager that her grief would always be with her. It won't grow or lessen but evolve. He asked for words he could say that might help and her reply was, 'Just talk to me, as I have spent months watching people cross the street because they don't know what to say.'


Speaking to people still in shock, recently bereaved and finding their way can only come from the heart. Everyone is different and giving people time to muster their thoughts and responses during a conversation helps. It's not about the right words to say, and more about keeping things straight forward, and kind.


Grief is exhausting and there may well have been several months or years of trauma leading up to this point, so being worn out and feeling overwhelmed are common.


Most of us are naturally kind, so saying 'This might not be the right thing to say or the right word' is alright, because the spaces within the conversation can help those involved to find their way. Everyone reacts differently given the situation and circumstances at any given moment. As someone finds their way with grief, exploring how they need to be treated is alright as they may not know themselves.


A lady whose husband had passed after a lifetime of marriage was being supported by her adult children. Mum was being coaxed into thinking that life moves on, certain stories needed to be dropped from her conversation and she had to find a way forward. It's early days for her. We talked about things not being measured in time and how grief creates a vacuum that applies pressure to be filled. There is no rush here. Hitting the pause button is wise, so she doesn't have to rush into anything, as she doesn't have the emotional energy to think of practical ways forward yet, never mind being able to put them into practice. She needs people to listen, lovingly, and without trying to tidy anything up. Life is messy and so is grief and people grieving together may have different ways of dealing with it which can add complications.


There is no right or wrong in finding a way with grief. It's not about finding a way through but adjusting, adapting and giving the situation time to evolve without pressure.


A blank canvas with unfamiliar paints needs the grace of time.




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Sue Dreamwalker
Sue Dreamwalker
Jun 05
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Your words are very wise Jane... So many people try to rush others through their grieving process, and as you say, each is different, and deals with their emotions differently.. A life time partnership cannot be swept away at another's whim so that they may feel better when around that person who is still mourning their loss.. Taking each day as it comes, and being there for those whose hearts are still raw and broken, and having that most important listening ear... Sometimes no words are needed, just a presence and reassurance and support is sometimes all that is needed.. Sending lots of love dear Jane.... From my heart to yours... And thank you .. for the wonderful compassionate …

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Jane Sturgeon
Jane Sturgeon
Jun 06
Replying to

Hello dearest Sue, thank you for your loving support and thoughtful words.

We have decorated our home office and your beautiful butterfly and flower painting, and special birds painting are beside my desk.

I hold you in my heart and am grateful to you. Much love to you and B from us both. xXx 🩷🌹

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Clare Pooley
Clare Pooley
Jun 04
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I would say the majority of us are anxious not to say the wrong thing when dealing with someone who is grieving but we mostly try to do our best. Sometimes this anxiety is taken to extremes as in the poor young woman you mention who saw she was being avoided by people who didn't know what to say and ran away. However, there are some people who say the most inappropriate things; trying to 'tidy up'. My sister's ex-father-in-law died recently. His wife had had a terrible time looking after him for years. He had always been a forceful character and mild dementia made him worse. Nevertheless, his wife is grieving and is exhausted but her children thi…

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Jane Sturgeon
Jane Sturgeon
Jun 05
Replying to

Oh, Clare, I feel you are right, as Doreen must be exhausted on all levels. She needs time and forgetfulness is a sign of being worn out. She probably hasn't got the energy to think, never mind handling others and their intentions. I agree that most of us try our best to listen and to flow with comforting words and actions when someone is living with grief. Much love to you all. Xxx 🩷

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Peter Springer
Peter Springer
Jun 01
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I know you know better than me, Jane, but it seems one of the most important skills is to be a good listener when someone is grieving and accept that it's healthy for them to talk if they feel like it.

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Jane Sturgeon
Jane Sturgeon
Jun 01
Replying to

Hello Pete, you are right, listening is so important. Much love to you and Debbie. Xxx 🩷

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