A Good Grief

All sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story or tell a story about them.  Karen Blixen

Dana King shared with me a story about Molly Jackson, a young mother who, after losing her 2 year-old daughter, has found healing through her blog A Good Grief.

Ms. Jackson writes “I remember thinking there is no way I would ever be able to move past the pain, that I would never find joy again. But I have.  Grief at losing a loved one isn't something you really overcome… but what you overcome is the deep feeling of self-pity and utter loss, the desire to ‘give in' so that you can again live with hope.”


Psychologists have indicated that we can only overcome trauma when we talk about it to someone who can bear witness to our loss.  Whether we've lost a loved one, or simply traveled a boulevard of broken dreams, each of us has or will experience some seemingly unendurable loss.

A wonderful example of bearing witness has occurred over the past few weeks with a group of friends I'm interacting with online.  Each day one of the participants (some of us know each other, some don't) poses a question to which we have the opportunity to respond.  The questions range from ‘What is your most memorable meal?” to “What would you regret twenty years from now if you didn't do it today?” to “What do you do when a loved one takes their life?” and “What do you daydream about?”  In answering these questions and telling our stories, we are making discoveries about ourselves.  As we have listened, there seems to be healing.

When you and I are in a place of loss, we don't dream — because we can't.  If we are in that place, then let us grieve, give voice to the trauma.  Our loss will gradually give way to hope, to our dreams.

For what is dreaming if not hope manifest?

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