Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Griever as counselor

In the recent past (and present) I've found myself among friends who are grieving. I care deeply for these friends and grieve with them from my own perspective. I grieve over their grief and face my own grief over the situation.

If someone close to a friend dies, I grieve for my friend's loss. I feel sad, angry, etc, that my friend has to face the loss. I also grieve my own loss, remembering the person who died as I knew them through my friend.

I've come to realize that when I go to a grieving friend, I go from my perspective as a griever. "I can't believe this is happening. I'm shocked." "I'm so sorry for your loss - do you remember that time when I was there with your mom and she said 'such and such' to me?" I end up working through my own grief in the presence of one who is grieving so much more. The "main griever" ends up being my counselor. How backward is that?

In a current grieving situation of a close friend, I'm trying to consciously help her process her grief while leaving mine for other people. I think it's a good start and I hope it helps me to be a better friend to leave my own processing on the shoulders of other friends around the situation and sometimes those entirely outside of the situation.

I also hope that when I am in a situation of grief and the people around me come to support me that I will better understand that they will be coming from their own perspective and may need to bring me their grief as a way to process it.

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