EXPERIENCING GRIEF – LOOK FOR “UNDERSTANDING”………NOT “ANSWERS” By KhulaRae 1/5/2020
In our short tenure in this world, we have faced a number of daunting situations where “grief” descended on us like the proverbial dark cloud of dread and uncertainty people have depicted from time immemorial.
Between the passing of family members and dear friends to personal bouts with illness as sobering as cancer, grief has tried to exact the full measure of its dreary toll. And in every instance, has, to greater or lesser extent done just that. At times there was a temptation to think that when we lost someone we loved, or spent sleepless nights cursing a foreign biological invader in our bodies, that “the whole world had become our enemy.”
It has been our great fortune, in the most trying of these times, to have had “each other”, our work, our aspirations and achievements to guide us away from the brink of final despair. In this, we are singularly blessed. While never erasing the memory (ies) of our times of sorrow, we’ve managed, with each other and family support, to “turn around the blackboard”, as it were. The events are still there, we just don’t have to see them unless we choose to reflect.
However, in considering this, it has slowly dawned on us that when we best handled our grief was when we least tried to find an “answer” to the source of a grieving situation.. We stopped looking for third party “What Do I Do Now ”answers, because, at the end of the day, grief is unprecedentedly unique and personal. We all deal with grief, even over the exact same situation, in a different manner and there is never one “right thing to do.” The five stages of grief by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross were never meant to be a recipe book for dealing with grief, but simply a basic guide to typical generalized principles.
We now realize that EVERY occasion of grief needs to be UNDERSTOOD. And “understanding” is profoundly unique to each of us. As it is one way for Khula, it is different for Rae. The key to our mutual benefit is we understand what is likely to be most effective in the moment for the other. We don’t “answer a question”. We project understanding and support our partners approach to healing.
Which by definition means the SAME approach is almost certainly not transferable. We would offer the idea that while basic cognitive “solutions” to grief are tempting, they re generally useless because SOMEONE ELSE WROTE THEM!
Shakespeare said “Everyone can master grief, but he who has it.”
So we feel we should stop looking for answers and focus on understanding.