As I was researching bereavement this weekend, I stumbled across an article written by a mother who had lost her young son. As I read the article, the reality of losing my grandson, Mikey Joe, last year was yanked forward in my mind, and my eyes welled with tears. Near the end of the article, I realized that my heart not only hurt for the author, but for myself and my darling daughter, as despair filled my soul. GRIEF BRIEF 176YANKEDGrief is all-consuming; it is no respecter of persons or time. You may have several weeks of great recovery and suddenly find yourself in the pitfalls of despair.This is a normal response.Eventually, despair and loneliness will be replaced with kind and fond memories.Even so, you will be yanked back from time to time by the least little insignificant thing. (Mourning Light II, Tracy Renee Lee)
The mother in the article wrote about the heartache she sustained and the impossibilities associated with continuing on in life as though nothing of significance had happened to her. The holidays were of particular concern, and she wanted people to understand that she could be thankful for her blessings, and heartbroken by her circumstances at the same moment. Her heart yearned to hear her child’s name spoken out loud by those who knew and loved her, but people were too afraid to say it.
GRIEF BRIEF 212SAYING AND HEARING YOUR LOVED ONE’S NAMESaying and hearing your loved one’s name is essential to grief recovery.Unfortunately, friends, family, and acquaintances are unaware that speaking your loved one’s name actually has a healing effect and therefore avoid the mere mention of it.For those who have not endured significant loss, avoidance seems the natural discipline. Help them overcome this awkward concept by being the ice breaker. Consciously strive to be the first person at any event to say your loved one’s name. Offer a story or interesting fact about him or her so that everyone will feel more at ease and will feel free to engage in comforting conversation without fear of increasing your anguish.At first, this practice may be incredibly difficult. You may shed tears or need to pause as tender feelings tear at your soul. Doing this, however, may increase the speed of your recovery and assist you in moving yourself into your new reality much quicker than expected. (Mourning Light III, Tracy Renee Lee)
It is unfortunate that friends, family, and acquaintances fear mentioning the name of a decedent or speaking about your loss. In their efforts to spare your feelings, they have accomplished the exact opposite. The act of ignoring your pain actually increases it. There is no escaping the reality of your loss, but others do not know how to approach you or what to say to you. Unfortunately, the discomfort and awkwardness of those who care for you are part of your reality. GRIEF BRIEF 213MISCONCEPTION OF KINDNESSWhen loss has occurred, family, friends, and acquaintances are afraid of sharing memories of the decedent as they fear that sharing them will cause the survivor increased loneliness and pain.It is not their fault that they do not understand your healing needs. In reality, hearing and sharing loving, funny, awkward, and even touching memories of your decedent encourage the healing powers of recovery.Because the tradition of such conversation has long been accepted as impertinent and merciless, the only way to correct this misconception is for the bereft to educate those about them. As a survivor, you must realize that you are the expert of your recovery needs. Those around you are at a disadvantage of not knowing what to say or do to help you. Therefore, in an attempt of kindness, they quite often say and do nothing.It is time for this “Misconception of Kindness” to be exposed for what it truly is. Ignoring and acting as though a survivor’s loss is conversationally taboo magnifies their isolation and associated pain. (Mourning Light III, Tracy Renee Lee)
My weekend was dappled with tender moments of missing and longing for the sweet touch of my beloved grandson, Mikey Joe. Through it, however, I realized that recovery, although slow in fruition, has planted its much longed for glorious seed. My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), published author, syndicated columnist, and co-founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. Continue Reading →