Rather than finding this disturbing and swallowing pride that we’re not the only one having a pity party or suffering through something, it’s more helpful to see it as supportive. Just think of the myriad of people who can share with you how they found their way through the smoke and mirrors and finally came out at the end – relieved, happy and ready to begin again. Perhaps you could think of the old cliché “There’s safety in numbers” and realize that if others can survive in similar situations, than you can too.
Recently, I decided to redesign my web site, begin to blog and make some of my grief articles available through download. This is a major task and at times, I wondered at the wisdom of setting up a new site. Talking myself out of it at times, convincing myself that I had other things I could be doing. Then I became aware of many people, all ages, who suffer in grief and who would benefit from visiting a fresh web site and gleaning supportive information.
The more I began to work in it, the less work it became. The more I reread articles I had written in the past, the more relevant they became to the present. The more I looked at the grief issues I’d resourced over the years, the more powerful they became for future research.
In a recent email, I counted nine grief issues that had played havoc in the sender’s everyday life. In a contemporary novel I’m reading, the characters are coping with several issues of grief, all at the same time. And when I watch the news, grief visits most situations. As I look around my own life, I see grief weaving itself in and through my week. Yes, it’s something we live individually, but it’s also, something we share together. And so this is one area that as I work anew in grief ministry, I realize there are many others in the same area offering valid ministry, as well as countless people managing their grief in different ways.
When I ministered in the West, my husband and I went to a dinner meeting at a local Canadian Armed Forces Base. A picture hung over the fireplace, and remained indelible in my mind’s eye. A group of people walk together on a path leading from a backdrop of fire and desolation. They all have something in common with one another. They have come from a collective experience. They are wounded. They are all going in the same direction and they are leaning on each other.
So it is in most things we do. So it is in the grief we experience. So it is in the hope we celebrate.