It is 2am and my 18 year old son has just come in, and from my bedroom I can hear the tears. I know that grief has just hit him and he is missing his dad, his best friend, his champion, his rock, his dude!
This is a profound loss for all of us and for him, my empath, my deep thinker and talker… this is a time for so many questions. His greatest question being… how do I keep this from breaking me?
In this conversation, I am both learning and practicing things that I can share with you.
1. Be unafraid to talk about death. For us, this was unexpected and we’ve had some hard talks, but the honesty of the feelings associated has brought some relief in just the fact that he CAN talk about it with me in any form of expression. And yes, that is sometimes choice curse words. (Why not, he most likely learned them from his dad or me).
2. Listen, listen, listen without offering an explanation. We are natural fixers when it comes to conflict. The fear of hearing scary things like wanting to give up, or being angry at God, or whatever strikes terror in your heart makes us quick to jump in with platitudes and solutions. Let honest expression of thoughts and feelings happen without the fix or hold on to silence and the power it brings in just resting there until words are ready to flow again.
3. Release each other from the stereotypes of grieving. A man cries and grieves. Being strong is not mandatory and is subject to interpretation. The pain can be paralyzing and it is okay to be paralyzed by it. Moving on is not measured in hours and days, it is selective. Depression is real and not a sign of weakness. All of this is healing and a peeling away of the rules and standards of stereotypes and culture. Be brave enough to break culture here.
Talking about the grief we feel and its real effects on us often present so much conflict for us that we don’t do it or listen for it. This is the toughest assignment of my life, helping my sons enter into and go through this process, and experiencing it once again for myself in as real a way as possible. I am committed to holding the energy of learning and letting go, alongside of giving in and going with the flow of grief as it comes.
Death too can teach us even more about engaging in conflict if we let it
This blog is dedicated to the loving memory of Warren J. Price, a most beautiful soul, husband, friend and world-class father whose fried chicken was the stuff of legends!
To help during this tragic time, we have set up a GoFundMe – you can Click Here to read more.