Enjoying the quiet and reading through one of my favorite magazines today. Came across this article and thought to myself “what a profound statement” – sharing with you all….
Magazine: Oprah, August 2017
Article: Paying Attention by Glennon Doyle
She has just lost her grandmother who had a profound impact on her life. She also just welcomed in her niece into the world – both of whom have the same name Alice.
“The secret to life is not about knowing what to say or do. It’s not about doing love or loss right. Life cannot be handled. The secret is simply to show up. It’s about witnessing it all, even the pain, and letting it touch you and make you not harder, but more tender.” – Glennon Doyle
As grievers we often want someone to come along and fix what is broken. The fact is they cannot. It’s not fair to expect that of them. Grief is a journey that has many lonely roads to navigate. The key to moving through grief is to give it time. Meaning do the work to grieve. Ignoring it won’t make it better; in fact, it often gets worse and you are liable to take people down with you. While my journey is far from perfect. I’ve learned a lot and I’m still learning how to live my new normal.
My new normal looks nothing like my old life. Not one piece of it. The only memory of it is within my own heart and pictures. Sometimes it’s easy to go about life and ignore it. The busyness of life keeps grief just on the edge – just far enough away that you can actually get through the day and think – “wow I can do this”. Sometimes I feel like a football player running down the field with the football neatly tucked away to my chest clutching it with one hand and stiff arming the opponent with my other all the way. The football is my loss and the opponent is my grief. That is the best analogy I can come up with to explain my grief.
I can’t express enough the importance of having someone by your side who does not judge or try and “fix” your pain. It’s not possible to fix it. It is what it is. What is possible, and most important, is being present in a grievers life. Never giving up on them because grief is hard. It’s life-altering. It can literally take everything you have to get through a day. But supportive family and friends can make all the difference. Being present to love on, talk to and care for is vital.
The lesson for us all, both the grievers and the supporters – is that being present is hard work. But the reward can be life-giving. Just as Glennon said in her quote: “The secret is simply to show up. It’s about witnessing it all, even the pain, and letting it touch you and make you not harder, but more tender.”
Be Present. Love Well.
Until next time,