I’ll admit it.
I tend to be an emotional stuffer.
It never seemed like it was worth the drama to expose my feelings to others. It rarely resulted in changed behavior and often resulted in confrontation, retribution or worse.
So I learned to swallow tears, stuff pain and slink off into another room and lick my wounds.
But that’s hardly healthy.
And it cannot be sustained when a heart shatters into a million pieces.
Because trying to hide THAT pain is impossible.
It slips out eventually-usually in a way that is awful and untimely and creates more hurt and more drama than if I had simply owned up to it in the first place.
It may be frustrating, not to mention exhausting, that you have to take the time to help others understand what you need. But this is part of living with grief. It’s part of the healing, coping process. Plus, if you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for more awkward, painful moments. Therefore, communicating with your comforters — be it through a spoken conversation, a letter, or an email — is wise. You won’t have a great deal of energy to reach out to others, but find a way that works for you. Let your comforters know:
* what helps
* what doesn’t help
* the truth about how you are feeling
* how thankful you are for their friendship.”
~Samuel J. Hodges and Kathy Leonard, Grieving With Hope
It IS frustrating AND exhausting.
But I am learning (slowly, very slowly!) that it is oh, so much better!
Instead of energy spent on being wounded and trying to hide it, I’m learning to speak up, own the wounds and suggest ways to prevent them in the future.
I’ll be honest, not everyone around me appreciates it. I am sometimes met with exactly what I hate: confrontation, opposition, accusations of selfishness and no more understanding than I had before I risked transparency.
But at least I’ve unburdened myself of what I could. I’ve given them tools to use (if they want to) in helping my heart heal.
There is so little I can control in this journey.
This is one place I can give it a shot.