What Mourners Long to Tell Others

Thanks to Desiree Harless who I met at the Love Never Dies Grief Support Group at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas and granted me permission to use the following as a guest blog.  Dez works in the church’s Relational Care Ministry and is active in their grief support groups.  It was my privilege to work with Dez and Associate Pastor of Relational Care Dale Williams in conducting the first Love Never Dies Grief Support Group sessions (using the book Love Never Dies: Embracing Grief with Hope and Promise as a text).  The sessions were held at Gateway Church July 14- August 4, 2012. 

Dear Friend and Potential Comforter,

Perhaps you have noticed my watery, red-rimmed eyes.  Maybe you’ve missed me and wondered where I’ve been lately.  Is my downcast appearance a give away?  Or is it my forced personality that clued you in?  Yes, it is sorrow.  Intense grief.  It originated from loss, loss of someone dearly loved.

What you see on the outside is just a fraction of the turmoil going on in the inside.  Inside I am a crumpled heap on the floor.  In an instant, everything changed.  The plans I had for the future have been obliterated; the past has disappeared in pain.  Surviving another minute seems impossible.  My world is no longer safe.  I realize I’m not in control.  I don’t know who is.

The one thing I do know is how uncomfortable I make you feel.  Some people can’t handle this and I won’t see them again.  Some people try for a while, but it’s hard and they have their own life.  It takes a special person to walk with the grieving.  Being able to be my friend through all this is one part love, one part God’s wisdom, and a hefty dose of perseverance.  And it may take more than one of you.

So, what do I need while I walk this mourning road?  I probably won’t be able to communicate that to you.  Sometimes I don’t know.  There are a few constants, though.  I need to feel genuine love, I’ve lost that you know, love.  I need to know that you love me, that God loves me, that I can love again.

I need to feel safe; safe physically, safe emotionally, safe spiritually.  I feel alone and that is not safe.  When I am with you I need to be able to express myself without feeling judged, be able to cry with you, be angry and mad without scaring you.  I need to process my loss and not receive spiritual clichés in response.  In grief, I can see right through them and they hurt.

I need prayer.  Please pray for me and with me.  Sometimes I can’t pray on my own.  I may be mad at God.  Don’t let that worry you; God is big enough to handle it, He does not reject me in my grief.  But knowing that someone is praying for me is a big help and I can feel it.

Thank you for being there for me when it is hard.  It won’t always be like this.  You may need to tell that to me, actually.  I won’t always feel so bad.  And one day our crying together will change to laughing together.   One day I will again feel joy, even while I feel sorrow.   One day I will again be able to stand, even while in pain.  One day, I will again be able to feel alive.

Thank you my friend!

Written by Larry M. Barber, LPC-S, CT author of the grief survival guide “Love Never Dies: Embracing Grief with Hope and Promise”  available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Christianbook.com.

The grief survival guide is also available in Spanish as “El Amor Nunica Muere: Aceptando el Dolor con Esperanza y Promesa” on Amazon.com.

Larry is the director of GriefWorks, a free grief support program for children and their families in Dallas TX  http://grief-works.org.



8 Comments Add yours

  1. Marcia Sapp says:

    I feel as if I could have written this myself. It is so true of how if you speak of your loved one, you can actually see people squirm. It’s like it’s time to move on. I don’t want to talk about this. An the cliches, oh my gosh. He is in a better place. Wants to make me sick. I think a better place is here with me. This is the loneliest journey I have ever walked. Thanks for sharing. Makes me think maybe I am still somewhat normal.
    Marcia Sapp

  2. Helen Moyer says:

    Dez, bless you! I know pretty much what you went through, and you know pretty much what I went through losing my “Jeep” in death. It’s almost 2 years and it still hurts like crazy. I really appreciate your ‘blog’ on grief. Keep up the great work, many of us need that encouragement, and to know we are not alone in our feelings with losing our dearest ‘friend.’

  3. Ericka Harmon says:

    Dez, You were my co-worker and my friend, as I read this I felt as though I wrote it myself. I felt this instant squeezing of my heart… Oh how I wish I would have known about these sessions, I would have loved to have gone. It has almost been 5 years since our loss and I still want to curl up in the fetal position, sometimes just being with other people who understand helps. Bless you!!

  4. Jean Littlefield says:

    Dez, My prayer for you is that what you share from your heart while you walk this very difficult journey of grief will not only heal you in the deepest parts of your being, but will have a ripple effect of healing. Healing not only to those who read this, but every life you touch. Watching you on this journey has been amazing and encouraging.

  5. Penny Bogard says:

    Thank you Dez, for sharing the truth…….and forgive me if I have compounded your grief in the past….until I experienced loss of Dad I had no idea of the hole left in my life and the replays of events leading up to death, and the “what ifs and always qestioning” that seems to never go away. Yes, I’m good at wearing my mask….but I feel I will never be the same.
    Love, Penny

  6. Meredith says:

    You have touched many….people you don’t even know. Thank you, Dez, for speaking what so many can’t say to so many that need (& want) to hear.

  7. Angi Hall says:

    I lost my husband last week. This sums it up beautifully.

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