Thursday, March 19, 2015
The restrictions against grieving are numerous and powerful, and start very early in the socialization of children. I think that those taboos are there because the art of grieving changes a person, from one state of existence to another, like boiling water into steam. But steam can be condensed back into water; the changing people isirreversible and permanent. I am awed by the powerful taboos against grieving. I know about this from my work with people and my own struggles to grieve openly.
People have often expressed a deep, abiding fear that if they start grieving they will never stop—or worse, just be stuck in a funk. I have never worked with a person that didn’t continue with his or her life as usual while going through this healing process. I have deep respect for those who make that choice. I see how much strength and courage it takes to be that vulnerable and exposed.
What I would like to see happen with my book is the creation of safe places for people to grieve without being interrupted or scolded. The only partially safe place is a cemetery. It would be nice to bring back the notion of the ancient Wailing Wall. The only thing I have ever experienced that even comes close to what I would hope for is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in DC. Loved ones are permitted to bring little memorials and at least weep quietly. I would wish for every bereaved person a safe place for deep, healing grief and reflection, in the daunting work of rebuilding a life.
I hope my book will helped you make some sense of your journey, and let a little sunshine in through the clouds.