Lessons in Grief: Learning to Listen

I admit it:  I’m a fixer.

It’s probably genetic (won’t mention any names!) but it has been reinforced by training and life experience.

When faced with a difficult or messy situation, my mind instantly rolls through an inventory of available resources and possible solutions.

And I tended to cut people off mid-sentence with my brilliant (?) plan to save the day.

But there are things you just can’t fix.

I knew that before Dominic ran ahead to Heaven but I mostly ignored it.

I can’t do that anymore.

heart leaf torn


So I’m learning to listen better.  Learning to let others express the hard things that can’t be fixed so that their burden is a bit lighter for the sharing.  I’m learning that silent hand holding or hugging or just looking someone in the eye instead of dodging their gaze is a great gift.

I’m learning that lending courage is possible.  One heart can actually beat in synchrony with another and the duet is musical and magical strength.

I’m learning that there are too many voices shouting “solution!” and too few ears listening to the full expression of a problem.

I’m learning that often my rush to remedy is hurtful, not helpful.

I’m learning that time does not heal all wounds-there are many among us bearing injuries that may be decades old but have never been spoken aloud because no one would listen.

we all need people who will listen to our stories

I’m learning that even the spoken stories need to be repeated often and with just as much emotion each time because the telling has a way of releasing pain all it’s own.  

I’m convinced that if we were a society of listeners who slowed down just long enough to really HEAR other people’s stories we’d be a society with much less pent up anger, bitterness and other dark emotions.

sometimes you can hurt yourself more by keeping feelings hidden

I’m embracing the old saying, “God gave us two ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk”.  

Sometimes that means literally biting my tongue or placing my hand over my mouth.  

But I’m trying not to waste this hard-bought lesson.  

Need an ear?  

I’m here.  ❤

friends hugging


Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

9 thoughts on “Lessons in Grief: Learning to Listen”

  1. I echo my agreement with all the comments above. I find it so hard to listen – tired, distracted, sad. I teach Kindergarten, and actually love to listen to my sweet students. They are a balm to my aching heart. But interacting with adults is much harder. I have friends who keep reaching out, bless them! I have friends who leave me to my privacy. Some i think are sensitive and do not want to burden me with their burdens. Part of me does indeed want to listen and bear others’ burdens, but part wants to crawl away and hide. How long, O Lord? I am taking your blog as a challenge to me – to try to reach out and be a better listener. thanks once again, Melanie .

    Jeni, Jeff’s Momma

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Melanie, Friday April 13 will be a year. So sad but God is helping me getting thru this week of bad images, dark thoughts, why didn’t I do more . I’m thankful for your blogs. They have helped me so much. Most of my friends are do busy & maybe they don’t want to be a grieving mother. It’s a lonely life. I haveno one to just hold my hand. Thank you again. You’d be a great friend to share with. I do have 4-5 friends who live out of state who pray for me often. Donna H is one of them. God bless you for sharing !!! My Laura is forever 44!!!! Love from one greiving mom to another!!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I don’t know about you, but I struggle even to listen. My mind wonders off into never never land. Concentration is hard for me. It’s slowly coming back for me.

    Liked by 2 people

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