Thank you, Grief Toolbox for this timeless reminder.
I can’t tell you how excited I am about my friend Jesse Roberts- and his newest book on the horizon- “KidGrief.” Jesse will be a guest speaker at the Thomas McAfee Grief Seminar Tuesday 9/10 (Greenville, SC- TD Convention Center- all day) He will share his incredible story of loss, healing and survival, since losing both parents before he turned seventeen. Jesse teaches practical compassionate ways to help a child through grief. I’m honored to call him friend.
life∙line/ˈlīfˌlīn/ Support that enables people to survive or to continue doing something (often by providing an essential connection)
The first time I heard the term “lifeline” related to grief was from my dear friend, Patti. Almost five years ago Patti’s life changed forever when a violent crime took the life of her beautiful twenty-six year old daughter, Anne. There are no words to adequately describe her journey through sorrow since Anne’s death; yet somehow Patti continues to find strength to wake up every morning and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
She is often asked how she keeps going. I’ve noticed people lean in to listen whenever Patti speaks now, not wanting to miss a single word. She is quick to talk about her Christian faith. Patti’s quiet confidence and unshakable hope for the future inspire the very people who are there to encourage her.
The next thing she might tell you about are her lifelines. Patti’s lifelines are the trusted friends who were at her side when Anne died. They are people who not only pray for her, but pray with her anytime day or night. These lifelines have been there for birthdays, anniversaries and times she thought about giving up. Around them Patti doesn’t have to clean up the pain or pretend everything is okay. They make her feel safe.
Another invaluable lifeline has been her gifted and compassionate professional counselor. Since connecting with an excellent grief therapist, Patti has been able to keep moving forward on the road of healing, and start looking ahead to the future. Her story of survival is now offering hope and encouragement to other moms and dads grieving the unthinkable loss of a child.
What About You? Do you have a lifeline walking with you, a friend or maybe a group of people who understand what you’re going through? If you’d like help finding support, a local pastor or hospice provider can be an excellent place to start.
You don’t have to go through grief alone.
Do you ever do the same thing over and over and expect a different result?
The death of someone you care about deeply is one of life’s most difficult challenges. It’s easy to fall into a rut of doing the same things day after day, leaving you lonely and feeling stuck in the sorrow. If you’re struggling to move forward would you consider trying something different to help break through the intense sadness? Hopefully one of these ideas will help:
Help yourself first. Remember the crew on your last airplane flight, instructing you to “place the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others?” The same applies to people who are grieving. Whether it’s an early morning walk, listening to music or creating something artistic, being intentional to take care of yourself will help as you journey through a time of grief.
Remember. Memories of your loved one’s life are treasured gifts to keep close in your heart. Take some time to record memorable stories and save photos in a notebook or journal. Remembering happier times is a beautiful way to honor the person you’re missing, and allow some light into a challenging season of life.
Get help. People who have been where you are now can be a great source of hope and encouragement. It might take a few visits to know if a support group is a good fit for you, but don’t give up. A caring group or maybe professional grief therapist can provide a safe place to process traumatic loss.