Life's Passing

I am here,” Grief says. Be careful with me. Stop. Pause. Stay with me.
— Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

2019 marks for some, the beginning of a year where everyday is a profound reminder that one so very loved, is missing. Grief follows in the shadow of a son, daughter, mother, father or friend who has died.

“Losing someone we love changes us inescapably for all time and is painful beyond all imaginings.” a boldly stated, valuable insight captured by Dr. Joanne Cacciatore in her beautifully written book, Bearing the Unbearable. Her words fly in the face of a culture that begs us to move away from profound loss as if grief becomes quickly weightless.

Today, I am thinking especially of parents who have been shattered by the loss of a child. My community is no stranger to this experience. I am writing encouraging us to remember that loss grips in unfathomable ways, that loss is sharp and feels enduring.  When we find ourselves in the presence of a parent who has lost a child, we are in the presence of more than that physical person. We each are in the presence of one of life’s profoundly shattering experiences. It is so normal to wrestle with, “What can I do…to help?”

To offer a quiet, deep listening and your open, non-judging heart may allow for a breathtaking contribution toward those living in a pain that often reaches beyond description. It might be just exactly what is needed: to just be with.

Mariah Riess MSW, is a Grief and Loss Counselor in Dover, MA.