September 7, 2018

Losing Someone


Last week a former student passed away. It was tragic and a shock to everyone in the school. This came only a month after our friend lost their middle school child. The loss of young lives is so devastating.

I don't know how to deal with grief, I really don't. It's such a terrible beast to engage with and yet there is something strangely beautiful about mourning a life. The pain is equal to the love and because of that, it's worth walking through.

I'm more comfortable with my tears than I've ever been. I let them fall when those waves arrive. My children have seen me cry in recent years and I wouldn't have let that happen when they were growing up. But I'm more comfortable with walking beside loss now. I don't want my children or friends to be afraid of grieving openly.

I'm normally a pretty upbeat person. My life hasn't lent itself to many hardships, so optimism comes easy for me and I like to spread it around. But I also like to be sincere. So when I'm in the middle of grief, I allow myself to go under and feel it deeply.

I used to feel guilty for grieving if I wasn't the closest person to the one who died. But now I see the grief of acquaintances as allowing their tribe to see the impact of how far a person reached.

There was a time I avoided grief and those grieving. I didn't feel like I had anything to offer, any hope to give. I was afraid I would cry or make them feel bad. 

But I've learned that the opposite is true. You can't make someone feel bad when they have a loss, because they're feeling that loss constantly. You didn't remind them of it, they never forgot. As for crying around them, it's comforting to see that your loved one impacted others. It's healing to hear stories you might not have heard about them. It's soothing to be among those who loved them.

Nowadays I find myself more likely to show up than run away. I'll admit, I always feel a lump in my throat before stepping into the doorway of a grieving family, but I know I'll be glad I came. Even when I bumble my words or cry snotty tears, simply being there reminds them we are not alone in this pain.




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