Updated: Aug 16, 2019
Your tribe can help or hinder your healing. After your child dies, people can lift you up or leave feeling exhausted. Interestingly, the people you assumed that would be in your corner aren't always the ones who are able to help you.
After my daughter Katie died, I made the assumption that everyone around me that knew and loved me would be there to support me. I was wrong. REALLY wrong. Oh sure, at first, everyone came to her service or sent kindhearted messages, but the ones who have been most helpful have stayed by my side even after 3 years. And they weren't necessarily who I thought they'd be.
I used to be angry with the people that weren't there for me or said insensitive things.
But now I've realized that they simply weren't equipped to help me. Perhaps they were too close to the situation and were dealing with their own grief. Perhaps they had their own life struggles that didn't allow them the extra energy to support me.
I have become very particular who I spend my time with and my energy on. While I don't expect people to sit and listen to me cry or feel sorry for me, I do like to be with people who lift me up. Goodness know that being in the company of those who pull you down is exhausting. Any relationship is based on a two-way communication so sometimes you offer support to someone else and then when you need someone to talk to, they are there for you.
Support groups can be the same.
You may find that some groups leave you feeling uplifted and encouraged to take the next step forward while other groups leave you feeling empty or frustrated. We are all different on this journey so it's important to respect that our differences in healing too. But what works for you may be vastly different to what works for someone else.
The only way to find a good fit, is to try different groups. You will notice the vibe right away. If you are involved in online groups, check out past posts and images and see how you feel about them. I truly believe our feelings of pain and loss need to be validated, but repeatedly discussing the pain is not helpful for healing. The same goes for those things which we cannot change.
Look for those groups that offer heartfelt advice and suggestions to take baby steps on your journey through grief. Are there people in those groups that have shared words that resonate with you?
This concept can be applied to your reading material and counsellor as well. Take a step back and evaluate if these resources are truly supportive for you.
If you are looking to explore new resources like website, blogs, meditations, or online support groups, check out my free download here: https://www.lisakboehm.com/helpful-grief-resources
Sending love and light,