Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Mallards on a pond in the village of Raspordin

Monday, September 22, 2008

How Do We Handle Someone Else's Grief

Being around someone who is grieving can be awkward....if we allow it to be. Our good friend, Carolyn Martin lost her first husband, Bob, a while ago. She told us that people would avoid talking about Bob to her, thinking it would upset her when what she wanted and needed most was to talk about him and remember him.

Carolyn sent me this poem last week, written by Terry Kettering. It puts our efforts to comfort folks who are grieving into perspective:

There's an elephant in the room
It is large and squatting, so it is hard to get around it.
Yet we squeeze by with, "How are you?" and "I'm fine."
And a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.
We talk about the weather.
We talk about work.
We talk about everything else-except the elephant in the room.
There's an elephant in the room.
We all know it is there.
We are thinking about the elephant as we talk.
It is constantly on our minds.
For you see, it is a very big elephant.
But we do not talk about the elephant in the room.
Oh, please, say his name.
Oh, please, say "Paul” again.
Oh, please, let's talk about the elephant in the room.
For if we talk about his death,
Perhaps we can talk about his life.
Can I say "Paul" and not have you look away?
For if I cannot, you are leaving me
Alone...In a room...
With an elephant.



"Grief is not a problem to be cured. It is simply a statement that you have loved someone." ~ Barbara Baumgardner

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