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, January 25, 2017

When Everything Is Not Okay

Book: Everything is Not Okay, Megan Devine

An audio book that invites the newly bereaved to enter their grief and see where it leads them.

Megan notes that everyone has an opinion about how people should grieve, even those who have never lost someone. Ignore them, she says. No one can tell you how you need to grieve; only you can determine that. We also have our own guilt trips to deal with, the “shoulds” that we pile on ourselves. Getting beyond the shoulds is one of the first tasks that grievers face so that we can hear what we actually need.

Using humor, and speaking of different ways of grieving, Megan includes words from poets and writers like Joanna Macy, Mary Oliver and Rumi to illustrate her thoughts.

She shares insights from her own journey with grief after her partner drowned, yet realizes that what worked for her might not work for everyone, and that is okay. When she began grieving, she could not find resources that were right for her. Nothing met her where she was, and at the beginning of grief what she wanted was acknowledgment, not repair.

When you are broken, the correct response is to be broken.

When something destroys your orientation in life, Megan says, when someone you love has been ripped away, you are not okay. Grief impacts you on the visceral level; it pummels you physically and mentally, so do not pretend that everything is okay. Your task, your only task right now, is to grieve.

She offers concrete ideas for doing this, not wishful thinking, and encourages listeners to follow what pulls them into wellness, not what drags them away. Find the places, people and words that support you, she says, as you work with your grief. Find the way stations where you can rest.

With a background as a therapist, Megan includes several guided meditations to center listeners and root them into the core of their lives. The exercises quiet the mind and heart so that listeners can exist in this moment and feel it as it is, with all of grief’s anger, confusion and even beauty. Her words are compassionate, inviting and inspiring.

Megan and Refuge In Grief run several 30-day writing courses throughout the year. Every day for 30 days, a new writing prompt shows up in your email and encourages you to step back and look at your grief in a new way. Write as much as you want, or as little. Because you are part of an online community, you can share what you have written, or simply read what others share. Either way, you become part of a supportive group of people who understand grief.

This is an excellent course for those in the first years of grief.

You can find more information at http://www.refugeingrief.com .