Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Poem # 23
Over the years I have worked with and encountered many individuals that have lost a child, a sibling, or a grandchild. I am not surprised by how many families “die” when one of their children does. It seems to be especially hard on siblings because they often lose everything all at once. The sibling is gone, and the parents are so traumatized they can’t help their other kids deal with the loss. Certainly, the family as everyone knew it is gone. A new family can, and often does, emerge, but the process is painful and requires a vehicle, like ceremonies, rites, or rituals, to allow everyone to grieve. Since no one grieves exactly like anyone else, various family members miss each other’s signals, which increases the depth of the struggle. It is still hard to know what to do or say because nothing much helps at any given moment. I have to remind myself over and over that any encounter with a grieving person is unsatisfactory. That is because neither party can give the other what they need. My attempt to help cannot resurrect their dead loved one, and they can’t feel better for me. This simple truth causes much misunderstanding in circles of friends. But there is hope and healing. On the other side is a lovely, albeit different, world also.