HUG Corner - Thought for the Week - 5/1
"Healing After Loss" Martha Whitmore Hickman
"We are real friends now because we have been able to share some painful experiences in our private lives."
- May Sarton
How quickly friendships are formed when grief is shared. Visiting my mother in the hospital soon after my daughter’s death, I fell into conversation with one of the nurses on the floor. I don’t know which one of us got to it first, her or me. But we were both mothers grieving for an adolescent child who had recently died. The usual slow, guarded, back-and-forth dance of getting to know someone sent out the window. We knew each other. We knew the pain, and the questions, in each other’s hearts.
I left the city—and my new friend. We exchanged Christmas messages for a number of years. And though we live a thousand miles apart, were we to see each other tomorrow, we would rise to that friendship as though we had been together just yesterday.
Sometimes it is hard for people we know who haven’t had an experience like ours to know how to relate to us. We can help them by talking about who we are now, in this new aspect of our lives. But how blessed we are to find friends who know, right away, what we are feeling.
With you, dear companion in sorrow, I can find comfort, and rest.
"...and it was gray, and grayer the the deeper he went. What if it was deeper than he had figured? But soon the light changed, the muck brightened, and he was headed out, towards clear sky and sun again. He said that was the best sight in the world."
"Our closeness is enhanced by sharing our grief, much more so than by the misguided attempt to keep it all under control..."
"Something within me is waking from long sleep, and I want to live and move again. Some zest is returning to me, some immense gratefulness for those who love me, some strong wish to love them also. I am full of thanks for life. I have not told myself to be thankful. I just am so."