We as a society struggle with grief. Those who are grieving don’t talk about it, often out of fear they’ll drive others away. Those who know someone grieving are scared they’ll say the wrong thing.
So we all stay silent.
And yet it’s one of the few things we’re all destined to deal with with at some point in our lives.
Thank you for showing up for yourself and reading this blog. Thank you for opening yourself up to consider the topic of grief.
I gave a talk the other night called, “Good Grief – Embracing Life and Giving Good Support” and over the next few weeks I’ll be walking through that talk with you here. (If I win my battle with technology I’ll even share video clips).
I’ve done my fair share of public speaking in a variety of capacities both professionally and personally. This talk wasn’t like those. It was what I hope will be the first of many where my intentions were to:
- Empower both the grieving and the supporters to find hope and ways to navigate through the dark tunnel of grief
- Show a path to freedom and happiness in spite of, or even because of loss
- Demonstrate how there can be partnership between the griever and loved ones
- Provide overarching thoughts and practical tools
I accomplished this through sharing a cliffnotes version of my story, my thoughts on grief and its stages, and the role of loved ones in supporting the grieving.
Understandably, I’m always a little nervous speaking in front of a crowd, but I know how to navigate through those nerves. This was different, several hours beforehand I seriously considered removing a few of the stories. I’d never shared them before publicly…for a reason. They aren’t pretty, in fact they’re pretty brutal.
Vulnerability won out. Why? The reason I’d included these particular stories to begin with… to normalize grief and all its experiences. If by sharing some of my crazy, very raw moments I could connect with someone in the audience in a way they could finally accept their own raw and vulnerable moments as part of the human experience, it’d be worth it. Also, without revealing the depths of my journey and grief, there would be no way to truly understand and appreciate the long distance I’d traveled, thus seeing the possibility that digging in and being resilient can bring.
Put simply, I believed my vulnerability could offer hope..