I have been posting a series of “Truisms About Grief” that I received from fellow grieving dad and friend, Charlie Schmidtke. I met Charlie as part of this grieving dads project. Please share your thoughts or stories regarding this subject.
It is crucial to give your loved one’s story a voice. It is important to develop a willingness and ability to talk about your loved one’s life and about your feelings about them. Too many parents, spouses, siblings, etc. are left voiceless once “normal” living is supposed to return. Other people seem to impose an unfair timetable and seem to take away the grieving person’s need to talk about her loved one, or to hear his name being used. For those people who have not found their “voice” yet, I would encourage you to participate in a professionally sponsored grief group, so you will learn how to speak about your loved one’s story with others who are willing to listen. For those of you who have learned to give “voice” to his story do not apologize for speaking. Of course there will be people and situations that will make telling the story difficult, if not impossible. Make sure you have friends or someone else who will truly continue to listen to the story and share in the meaning of what you have to say. This need should never cease. Be willing to listen to others’ stories too. Accept the fact that there will be times when you do not feel like talking or sharing your experiences. You may feel empty or that “what else is there to say”. These feelings are normal and may pass. If not, consider the possibility that you are becoming clinically depressed and need professional assistance.