by Sandy Walden
Who do you call when you need to talk?
Who do you think about when you want to share?
Who comes to mind when you need to take on a task that is too much to do alone?
These are the people that are on your team. They’re your peeps. Your Community. Your Tribe. Your Circle of Support. And they matter so very much. Often more that we realize and most often, more than they know.
– They may be family members or friends, those who feel the pain of loss as acutely as you, or not.
– Health care practitioners, therapist, counselor, coach, pastor.
– They may be friends, neighbors, colleagues who care deeply and want to ease your pain.
– Others grievers who care and understand.
– Perhaps you meet new people who are able to support you in unexpected ways.
I encourage you to be open to any and all of the above.
Please remember that not everyone is able to support us in the way that we need. This can be for a variety of reasons.
It’s very helpful when we are able to share with others what we want and need. I know this is often easier said than done, with practice it gets easier. Likewise, discerning who is able to help out, to support is a process and it will change as your grief ebbs and flows.
For example, trial and error taught me where to send the long, rambling emails that I felt absolutely compelled to type out in the middle of the night. I learned who was able to accept these messages, read through them and respond in the way that I needed.
This didn’t make others wrong, it was simply a matter of discernment.
Face to face. Phone calls. Oh my gosh, while this is the go-to for most who are in pain, I was not able to articulate to many in these situations. Only a precious few. These folks were a God-send for me and I will always be grateful.
This is not to suggest that others weren’t willing to sit with me or to answer calls, but rather it speaks to my ability at the time to share. Understanding and respecting my own needs as well as abilities.
It turns out that I was much better at supporting others in their most vulnerable pain than I was with sharing my own.
This too is different for all of us.
Who is on your team? Remember to let them know that they are appreciated and that they are helpful, it matters. They won’t know unless they are told.
Feel loving intentions when gestures are less than artful or words land in ways that are not soothing. You’re going through the most painful experience of your life and just as you are learning what is helpful, your Tribe is learning how to help you.
This is messy business. Mistakes will be made by grievers and supporters alike. As much as possible, remember that everyone is doing the best they can with this situation. Forgiveness matters.
As you process and heal your grief, as you walk your path of healing, some of your Community will quite naturally fall away. Bless them for their time and love and know that others will show up. But only if we allow and welcome them. This is a process. Step by step. One heartbeat at a time.
Your Circle of Support matters. You matter. You are loved.
When you are ready to begin your healing journey, reach out to Sandy for your complimentary consultation. Together, we walk through grief, into healing.
Connect with Sandy in her Facebook Group.
Way for Hope
Losing someone you love is difficult, but it can mean a lot to hear from others traveling similar paths.
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Links of Value:
Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Word of God
"My Story" Big Daddy Weave
"Hope in Front of Me"
The Joy FM
Traumatic loss or preexisting conditions can worsen mental health. Use this info graphic to find help.
"Take Charge of Your Mental Health" - a free download from www.nami.org: