Being There for Someone in Grief

A few passages for you from Being There for Someone in Grief...

When in the company of people in grief, I often hear them say it is rare to have someone among their family and friends who can “hold space” for them in a way that is quiet and calm—a spacious way that neither invades or evades. I wrote this book as a response to that comment, and in honor of all who grieve. May the world one day be filled with those who can gaze into the face of suffering and stay.

It took time and concentration to learn to be there for someone in grief in a way that is welcomed and respectful. Lucky for me, I had great teachers. My deepest wish is that I have found just the right words to help you become a person who can be there for someone you know, perhaps someone you love, who needs your deep presence as they grieve.

​"Between the moment when a person hears of the death of someone they love and the moment when they really feel and know the truth of it, there is time. The psyche trails behind the piercing truth of the loss, creating a strange perception of reality."

"In the early stages of grief, denial is not something to be fixed. The dance of remembering and forgetting that someone we love had died has a life and rhythm of its own. It will find its balance point. If you want to be helpful, your work is to develop faith in this natural process so that you can let things unfold as they will, without interference or drama. Let it be."

"...we all have the capacity to embrace the suffering of someone else. Being a companion takes a willing heart and a desire to soften and surrender our fierce need to rescue the ones we love. The painful spectrum of emotions we call grief won’t destroy us. In truth, holding grief back is more dangerous. When we construct a barrier to keep the grief away, that same barrier imprisons us and we lose connection with our inner compass,​.."

"At some time each of us will need to midwife someone we love through their grief. At another time we will need to be held through ours. In life we take turns loving, grieving, and holding each other along the way. And we learn to do this by doing it, by courageously facing the sorrows as well as the joys of life, even when it brings up our own painful emotions. Most of us are afraid to journey into darker territory, but the only way to reach the other side is “through.” The road is not straight, nor is it always clear, but we are never alone. It has been journeyed by many."