I Don’t Know How To Grieve


Here’s a confession: I don’t know how to grieve. I’ve read a lot of books about grief and certainly have lived through extreme seasons of grief. The loss of our son and step-dad in 2008 were life-changing events. Years later as holidays and anniversaries approach I still find myself looking at them and saying, “I don’t know how to do this.”

I’ve heard people say that men want to ‘fix things’ and maybe it is a part of my nature to want to fix this grief that I feel. I want to do something about this feeling – make it stop. We can make a lot of efforts to do something about grief:

*Read Books (and there are a lot of great ones!)

*Pray often

*Talk to other grieving people

*Observe anniversaries of loss with symbolic rituals (lighting candles, releasing balloons, etc.)

*Visit cemetery

*Write blog posts

Yes, it’s true, we can do a lot to try to address this problem called grief. But no matter what you do it is impossible to do the one thing that would remedy your sorrow. You cannot bring back your loved one. Only God has that kind of power.

So we do things to try to alleviate our feelings of pain and sometimes it helps a little. But the grief experience is not one that can be handled with a pill, a drink, or any other kind of effort. It is one we live through each day and at some point the joy of the good memories grow strong enough to overcome the pain of the loss. It takes years…not days or weeks. So do not be impatient with yourself. After all of our efforts we are still surprised when a deep sigh followed by a few moments of weeping comes upon us unexpectedly. Expect that unexpected moment. It happens.

None of us know how to grieve. It is an individual experience as varied as our personalities and life stories.

HERE is a post I wrote with a lot of grief resources … it’s good to read about the grief experiences of others. Just don’t expect the grief experience to be resolved when you turn the last page. It’s more of a journey you walk than a destination to which we arrive.

To quote part of the Compassionate Friends credo, ‘we need not walk alone’. You’re not alone, friend. Even when you don’t know what to do next. That’s OK.

Thanks for reading, JD.

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