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Comfort during a time of grief

How to be there for loved ones in times of need


A friend reached out to me today with news of her parent’s passing.

Though this outcome was expected after a gradual slow decline in health, giving the family time to prepare, what my friend was unprepared for was the deluge of grief and loneliness that she now feels.

Nursing her parent during their last moments on earth felt like teetering on the edge of a dangerous cliff; and now that death has come, my friend feels as if she is falling further and further with no safety net in sight.

Grief plummets us to the dark depths of despair.

We know that many others have found themselves in this darkness before, but right now, this is of little consolation.

Logic, intellect and rationality are of little use down here for grief does not care for such things.


So as my friend reached out with this news, I did the only thing I could.

I sat with her in stillness and silence, allowing her grief to emerge.

This is a hard and uncomfortable place to be for there are no platitudes, no sympathies, no words that can be of use.

The only way out is through the pain.

Yes, we could dull it, numb it, squash it with food, drink, drugs or any number of distractions, but all we’d be doing is shutting ourselves off from feeling, from grieving, from being present.

Tears come for that is inevitable.

The outpouring of grief, of loss, of heartache, bring memories, thoughts, and emotions bubbling to the surface. Sometimes there are moments of joy as she relives a happy memory from her childhood. Other times there are tears, anger and disbelief.


Regardless of what comes, we sit together allowing, receiving and healing.

There is no rush.

Time holds no meaning now, for grief is a place of nothing. It is the void, the dark, empty space. Here, there is nothing to do. Nothing to be.

There is only rawness. Only vulnerability. Only authenticity.

It takes courage to face one’s feelings, to allow them to surface, to go through our emotions rather than around them. This is what is required here in this moment.

So this is what we will do.

Adrift in this ocean of grief, we break upon the shores of love, again and again, shattering into a thousand tiny pieces.

We are undone.



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Thank you for choosing to read this story. If these words resonated with you, please share this moment with your loved ones. Yours, in appreciation, Alexandra

© Copyright Dr. Alexandra Domelle 2018

Originally published at medium.com

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