Who’s There For You?

Lean on Me

Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Bill Withers

When Janice returned to work after the death of her husband she was met by an understanding supervisor and co-workers determined to surround her with support.  Outside of work she had friends who “got it” and didn’t’ expect her to be “over it” on any timetable but her own. They invited her out to lunch, had her children over to play with theirs, and supported her in through not just hard days but through hard emotions, such as anger, without running away. She had a family member who had been through a death, someone whose ability to cope after the death of her own husband had Janice’s’ admiration.   Her support was invaluable as she faced the impending holidays, making decisions as to what she wanted to do and what she would forgo this year.  Her relative understood her family culture and could support her in a way only an insider can.   Janice grieved hard alone ….and with support…whenever she needed it.

Having a good support system does not mean that you can avoid grief.  Some people practice avoidance of grief by becoming too busy with activities or become  involved with other people, perhaps in intimate relationships, prematurely. Grief is still waiting for them as the excitement of new activities and relationships wane. Having a good support system does mean that you have witnesses to your grief, that there are people available   who understand and help on a bad day as needed.

So what does this mean to you if you haven’t had the death of a loved one?  We all will experience loss if we haven’t already.  If you haven’t experienced a major loss, the question to ask yourself is, “what is the quality of my support system right now?”  Do you have friends who you only do things with?  While bowling may be a great distraction, in grief your bowling buddy counts only if you are able to talk to them about your grief as well.   If your assessment is that you don’t have anyone to really talk with or not enough of them, it’s never too late to begin to put together the system you need.  One way to do this is to be present to others who may be grieving now. You don’t need to have answers….there are no answers.  Just listen without trying to fix the unfixable. Who could benefit from your support today?  If you are struggling through the death of a loved one and are missing support from caring others, I would be happy to help you as you move through your grief.  Please email me at info@marshabarnosky.com and request a 30 minute session of exploration to see how grief coaching may benefit you.

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