Welcome to Widow(er) Wednesdays. A new way for me to share what worked, what didn’t work and what could work better. This week I continue tackling the subject of safe people.
Who are the safe people? (Part 2)
Many of the problems we encounter when we are grieving are due to the many misbeliefs surrounding grief and the grieving process. In part 1 I wrote about how safe people are those who listen without interrupting. I also suggested that listening without interrupting is a skill worth practicing. Another component that needs to be present when listening to someone who is grieving is being non-judgmental. For those who are grieving being judged is tremendously painful, adds to our sense of aloneness and can stop us from being honest with others about our grief and our challenges. So…
- Safe people listen without judgment. When we feel someone is judging us because our grief is painful (see my blog on ugly crying) or because we haven’t “moved on” (see my blog on moving forward) it can feel like we’re failing. With everything else we are feeling, having someone imply we are failing is just plain wrong. Grief is harder and can take longer than anyone can believe unless they too have lost someone they dearly loved. This needs to become an accepted truth. However, until it is an accepted truth, if you’re grieving acknowledging these individuals as unsafe people is a good place to start. It is not the job of those grieving to educate others about grief (but feel free to send them this blog if you think it might help).
Everyone grieves differently, every loss is different, everyone struggles differently and we must all find our own way to live again without our loved ones. We need safe people who will support us no matter what this looks like.
Remember, it’s okay to avoid unsafe people who are not helping you to heal (at least for now). Once again, this is self-care. And when you have healed enough, I do encourage you to speak up so that together we can, as a community, better understand grief. This will create more safe people who will try to listen without interrupting and without judging. And that would be a very good thing.
Till next time,
Looking for previous “Widow Wednesdays? Start here with Widow Wednesday #1
To learn more about Heike (Author: “Grief is…”) click here
Buy Heike’s book “Grief is…” click here