Quantifying Grief? Don’t.

What do we do with our suffering?

Joining again with Diana Trautwein’s Blog – Last week Diana  opened the door to a series-within-the-series, a set of questions that touch on the Big Topic of suffering. This week’s question jumps in a little deeper:

It reminded me of  something really important I learned from my mentor/spiritual director friend, Shirley.

Shirly and Carol at the Gardens, a Sacred Place.
April 28, 2006 – You introduced me to the Gardens.
Our friendship began

It was about  grief – and this week, I lift a sentence  and expand on it from a post written to her in celebration of her birthday a few years ago.   

When my brother died,
I knew I had to see you,
because I knew you knew,
the way no one else would know
because you had lost your brother

And then  few months later
I told you I felt guilty
as I compared
my loss of a brother
to my sister-in-law’s loss of a husband.
That was surely worse,
wasn’t it?

And you reminded me not to quantify grief.
Everyone’s grief is their own, you said
and cannot be compared
to another’s grief.
Losing a brother is different
from a wife losing a husband
from a daughter losing a dad
from a son losing a dad
from a father losing a son
from a mother losing a son.
You said even though
you had lost a brother
you did not lose my brother.

This was a relief.
I was now free to
process my own grief.
For grief minimized
is pain unaddressed.
And the pain is carried
for years
buried beneath
the living of life
only to re-surface.
And surface it will.

joining with (in)courage – on finding freedom to tell our stories

4 Replies to “Quantifying Grief? Don’t.”

    1. Karen, Thank you so much for visiting here. I took a trip over to your blog and left a couple comments…inspired to write my grandson a letter as he enters middle school…on top of that, they are moving this summer, so it’s really a big deal. thanks.

  1. I’m so glad you have such a wise friend, Carol. Sometimes we need those friend-voices in our lives to remind us of truths we’ve ignored or forgotten. Thanks so much for linking up again this week.

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