Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday I will post something about grief. Sometimes it will be a reflection on an aspect of grief’s landscape. Now and then I will share from my own journey of grief, because in the sharing of our stories we find strength and build a community of people that support one another.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

What You Give Me When You Share Your Grief

When people who are grieving gather together, whether this is at a retreat or at a grief Dinner Party, they talk about their struggles and they support each other. They cry together and celebrate.

Those who are grieving know how hard it is to be vulnerable in front of others. Too many people have shut us down or turned away because our emotions were too strong or went on for longer than they thought they should. But when we are among others who are grieving, when we are among our tribe, we feel accepted, and by sharing our struggles, we begin to work our way through them.

An excellent place for people to share their grief in a supportive community is Refuge in Grief. There are also a number of online grief journals where people share their grief experiences with a larger audience. These journals include The Good Men Project, The Manifest-Station, Open to Hope, Rebelle Society, and Modern Loss. You can find some of my other writings there.

The following are some of the gifts we give each other when we share our grief.
What you give me, my companions in grief, is freedom, freedom to be emotional, and freedom to be silent.

You give me permission to express my grief in any way that I need, and you stay around and listen.

You give me fellowship as you share your grief with me. Knowing that we’re in the same boat steadies me.

You give me trust when you talk about your struggles, not because I have answers, and not because my compassion is so great, but because my presence is important to you. For a long time I doubted that I would be able to do this.

You give me patience when you wait as I fumble around trying to figure out the emotions rumbling inside me.

You give me insights into grief’s gnarly wilderness, and help guide my way.

You give me courage to go deeper into my own grief. For this, I offer you reverence.

Sometimes you poke, prod, and push me when I don’t go deep enough. I scowl, but then I try because I know you’re probably right.

You give me your tears, and they release my own.

You give me smiles. Open and warm.

You give me love, and anchor it in a place where it won’t wash away with the next incoming tide of grief.

You give me hugs that welcome me and say what no words can.

You give me hope. This horrible thing that has happened to us, this devastation that has battered, ripped, and torn our lives apart, has not destroyed us.

You give me your weakness, allowing me to see where you are broken. And you give me your strength as I watch your fierce determination in battling your demons.

You give me your compassion, and the softness of presence.

And if I need to hear a voice in the still hours of the night, even if I never actually call, I know that you are there.


  1. Mark,
    Thank you for your beautiful reminder regarding what grief support groups entail. With your permission I'd like to present your material as author and share with a group badly in need of focus. Again, thank you. Carol Felvey

    1. Hi Carol. Yes, feel free to share the post with your group. Having a support and fellowship group when you're going through grief is so important.

  2. Terrific! Second request: May refer other readers from my website to yours? One can never received enough insight and support. Your website is a jewel.

  3. This is beautiful. I just stumbled across your blog and I'm so happy that I did. Thank you. www.bohemianwidow.blogspot.com

    1. Thank you. I hope you find other posts that you like.