Sunday, December 30, 2012
Help for the Wounded Heart
When we lost Joey, I found myself in a very lonely place. I had been blogging Joey's life to dispel some of my grief, and began to search the blog world for others who would understand. Blogging was still relatively new at that time, and so it was not such an easy thing to find others. About a year into my journey, I was blessed, through a chain of discovery, to find three other women with whom I instantly identified. These women, whose beliefs overlapped my own, seemed to feel my same pain, and I could count on them to regularly express their grief in ways that were healing to me. They were able to help me sort out the internal chaos that accompanied the loss of my son. It was a priceless gift of solidarity in anonymity, for none of us knew one another in real life. I also had one more dear bereaved friend, a stranger who was introduced to me by a third party, with whom I lamented on email, every other day or so. This was my therapy. My support group. I attribute much of my healing, however much I have, to these four women. (Three of them are listed on my side bar to link: Metanoia, Katie's Family and True North).
What drew me to them? Two of them had lost grown children like me, very suddenly. They lived in the same world of almost speechless shock and unreality that I lived in. Two of them had each lost a daughter through cancer, and though our children's death experiences were dissimilar, their grief itself resonated with my own heart. All of them had lost children within a year of our loss. A significant factor, I realize now. I am pretty sure that the only ones who can help are the ones who have been there, or better yet, are there where you are right this moment.
In my search for kindred spirits, it quickly became apparent that I could not identify with everyone. There were some grief bloggers that even repelled me, as harsh as that sounds. I was hyper-sensitized then and sometimes triggered by their words. I remember revolting strongly against something I read, exclaiming angrily at my computer, "I will never feel like that!!" Grief morphs with time. I know that now. And perhaps as time has gone on, I have felt those same things. But the true point of this is: they were not what I needed then. And you must find what helps you right when you need it, right where you are at that moment.
Finding people who truly walk in your shoes is the challenge. Recently another bereaved mother started a blog that solves the problem of finding people who understand. She has actually created a website that gathers the blogs of other mourners into one place, and this mother "curates" it in honor of her beloved son Graham. She is making it simpler for the bereaved to connect with others on the road of grief. The deceased children represent a variety of ages and causes of death. The writers represent a variety of world views and backgrounds. I think it's a beautiful hope-giving place--one that will most certainly alleviate the loneliness of many.
Here is the link: Grief and Loss. Pass it on.