Reach One Another

“No one feels another’s grief; no one understands another’s joy.  People imagine they can reach one another. In reality they only pass each other by.”  – Franz Schubert

I know I speak for myself when I say, “I use to pass others by”.  I never understood the pain of others and to be honest, I never went out of my way to care.  I mean really care, by reaching out with a hug, phone call or even as a good listener.  I want to be clear here, I cared if others were in pain, but I never did anything about it.  I would think to myself “that’ sucks” and move on with my day.  I used the excuses, “I didn’t know what to say” or “I’ll just give them some time on their own, I don’t want to bother them”.

I can honestly say that going through the loss of two children opened my eyes to what others go through in life.  I agree with the quote above, no one feels another’s grief.  However, I truly believe we can reach each one another if we stop and listen.  Allowing others to tell you about their pain, however deep it is, provides them an outlet.  They in return feel a sense of trust and compassion that someone really cares about them and what they are dealing with.

Although I never set out to be this type of person in my life, I have now experienced the power of not passing others by.  I see pain in others that I never used to see.  This blog and my work with grieving dads/parents is my way of reaching out and hopefully allowing others to feel like someone cares.

What do you think of this quote?  Can you relate with it in some way?

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User Comments ( 11 )

  • Prayers for you.

    • Grieving Dads

      Thank Bonnie. We’ll take all the prayers we can get.



  • This is so true. Everything about this article I can agree with. Since the death of my little Caleb, I too have been more open with people and their feelings.

    • Grieving Dads


      Thank you for having the courage to be open with your feelings and others. You may never know how much you help someone by reaching out to them.



  • I just want a friend to sit down by me and …. be there.

    But my friends AND family disappeared when my daughtered died.

    • Grieving Dads


      Yes, we have all had those people in our lives. Sadly I was probably one of those people before I lsot my children. Its wasn’t that I didn’t care, I really didn’t know how to act or what to say. Knowing what I know now, you don’t have to say anything. There is power in silence. To allow someone to speak and tell their story allows them to get a little out at a time. I experienced that with support groups, counselors and the friends (old and new) that reached out to me. I learned the hard way that unless you yourself have been through this, its hard to know what to say or do. Like I tell guys in my workshops, “find other people or couples that have lost a child to spend time with. Nothing ends a dinner party quicker thand bringing up your dead child”. Its true. But when you are with people that get it, thats when you can truely be yourself. The real self with no pressure to be someone you are no longer.


    • Sherry,
      That’s so sad. I’m sorry to hear that your friends did not stand by you in your time of great loss.
      I hope you are healing.
      In Jesus,

  • I too was guilty of just passing others by when they needed help. I now see the importance of being there, even if its just to say hi. I really am trying now to help others, its just that I need to remember to help myself and allow myself to still grieve. I think that is at times the hardest thing, wanting to help others but being so deep in my own grief that it become at times difficult. That is why I am so thankful for finding all the dads and parents that blog and contribute to putting into words and context this thing called grief. I really dont know where I would be without them. Thank you all for allowing me to be me and helping me realize that I am not going crazy, everything I am feeling is ok. Thank you for reaching out.

    • Grieving Dads

      Ernesto – You most certainly still need to help yourself. Its hard to help others when you still carry so much pain. However, I ahve found by sitting and listening to others that are hurting also gives you an opportunity to tell your story which also helps you and the person you are sharing with. You both realize that you are not alone in your pain, regardless of what is causeing it. Keep helping where you can and keep receiving help when you need it. Peace. Kelly

  • Steven Stuart

    I used to be what I thought was a caring and compassionate person, and oh was I so wrong. I cared and on occasion showed compassion but not real deep compassion. It was the kind of compassion that consisted of a “are you ok” hoping to hear the typical “yeah, I am fine” response. There was always a sigh of relief that I felt when I did not have to listen to someone else’s woes. After Colin died that all changed. I don’t ask “how are you?” unless I mean it and will invest the time and effort into letting that person share the real answer and not the obligatory pleasantries. I do my best to lend a hand, an ear, and a shoulder whenever needed. It has helped me to meet a great many people and some have even told me how much I have helped them. “Helped them?!?” I thought. Wow…here I am in the devastating aftermath of the death of my son and I actually helped someone else out. That realization of being able to help other by simply just being there…really being there has changed me in a way that I now cherish. I just wish that change did not have to come about through the death of my Colin.

    • Grieving Dads


      I am with you, when people say how much this blog has helped them or they tell me how many people I am reaching with this blog I honored. I have had to step back and say who better than the person that understands and is hurting themselves. Why not you, why not me? We understand the deepest of pain. I too wish any of us have had to gone through what we have gone to to get to thsi point, but we have. It is a true priceless gift to be able to sit with someone who is crying and allow them to tell their story. Its an honor that they trust me enough to show me their deepest pain.

      Thanks for sharing.