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A Gift From The Journey-Managing The Grief of Others



Bali, April, 2019

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Welcome to Conversation With Katherine and my podcast Managing The Grief of Others

When you have loss someone that you love, time appears to stand still.  The world moves at a slower pace and the pain is great.  What happens when it is not your grief that you have to manage?  Time moves at its normal pace but for the person in your life there is a disconnect.  Managing your own personal grief is just that, its personal.  Managing how you handle someone's else is grief is more difficult.

Grief changes a person.  The person that you knew has changed and how do you cope with this new person.  They can be moody,difficult,curt,weepy,and on some days just plain old rude.  It is difficult dealing with this individual because you can't look inside them and fix their pain.  Nor can you know how long their grief will last.   When you are in normal time, someone else's grief can seem like a long time.  For the person who is grieving time is not what is important.  There is no magic time for grief, it can take months and sometimes years for a person to manage their grief.

If this was a physical illness you could look in a medical book and get an approximate amount of "normal healing time".  You can't do this with grief.  What is normal for one person is not enough time for another.  So what do you do?  One thing that is helpful is to remember that their behavior is not personal.  They are reacting to a state of pain that though you may be the target for a moment you are not the cause.  Another good thing is to take care of yourself.  Move about your life so that you don't get stuck in their unhappiness.  Now I don't mean to be insensitive but a little R&R away from the person grieving might be just what the doctor ordered.  Not so much time that the person feels abandoned but just enough to give you a quick sanity break.

Keep you expectations low and your kind level high.  This too shall pass just not quickly.  When the person starts looking like they are stuck it might be time to call a professional  Yes managing grief is an important skill in a relationship.  Whether it is your grief or someone that you care about, sadness is always difficult.

When the person starts healing and they start to leave their world of shadows it will have been your kindness that was the light they gave them a safe landing place.  It will be a tough journey for both of you.

What Was I Thinking Then August, 2010

I had someone in my life that was in pain.  Their pain was real and they were stoic or so they thought.  There was an irritability and shortness of patience in their presence for others.  It was not their intention to wound or take out their anger on others it was just what they did.  I realized that it was not the time to have a talk, when the person could not hear.  I realized that it was a time for patience and developing a wellness strategy for myself so I could cope with their ever present pain.


What Am I Thinking now 2019

I have been a witness to the grief of others.  While each individual may have a very personal way of grieving the impact of the loss is a familiar siren of the pain of their struggle.  I have been fortunate during this time to not experience my own personal time in grief.  I know the time will come.  I have watched and learned and I know there are no preparations for your own personal grief.  I have noticed that those that have surrounded themselves with kind, loving people have a safety net during their time of sorrow.  They don't have to concern themselves with others accepting them.  

I think of what is the wellness strategy that I should develop for me when my turn at grief comes.  I think of creating as many loving memories with those that I love and care for in my life.  I know that those loving memories will be painful at first but they eventually will be soothing to my spirit.  I have learned the importance of living in the present so I will have fewer regrets of what should I have done.  I am patient when I hear a story that I have heard before and I laugh to myself  because I know it will be a loving memory rather than becoming irritated with the person.

I know it is the small things that I will remember and when in the moment I pay special attention to those moments.  Grief is a pothole that life brings.  I know that acting stoic won't change my behavior.  I just won't know that I am angry , sad, or irritable. The acting may fool me but it won't fool others.  It is hard to imagine embracing the pain but I understand I am only sad because I loved the person so much.  It was the love that connected us and it will be the sadness of loss that causes me too long to hear their voice, just one more time.

Being a witness to someone's grief has allowed me to prepare in a positive manner not for the pain but of creating loving present memories.  How many loving memories have you created with those in your life?

Thank you for listening to Conversation With Katherine and my podcast Managing The Grief of Others.  Please feel free to stop by my website Conversation With Katherine .com and subscribe or leave a comment.  Have a great day and a great conversation in your life with Managing The Grief of Others.


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Patience is the key, and the most difficult thing. To take that journey of grief with another person isn't easy. So, yes, take time for yourself, don't let yourself become overwhelmed.


Hi NP I think you are right patience is needed and it is not my strong suit. Thanks be well

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