March 26 2018

By: Jackie Hook
Monday, March 26, 2018

In addition to making things matter with choices shortly after death, Alan Wolfelt, an author, educator and grief counselor, says that one of the needs of mourners is to search for meaning and “make it matter.” This search can involve questioning your faith and spirituality, asking “Why?” and “How?” and looking for purpose and meaning in your life. Wolfelt tells mourners to express this search outside of themselves to help find their way.

As I companion people involved in this search, I encourage them to be gentle with themselves and live the questions. I often quote Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet:

I want to beg you as much as you can, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

Many people living the questions do what they can to make things matter for themselves and in honor of their loved ones. Some try to live their best life; others try to make the world a better place.  And others work to make a difference in the lives of those close to them.

A tool that can help you have conversations around what matters most is the Have the Talk of a Lifetime deck of cards. Please check our Gatherings & Events page for upcoming opportunities to learn about these cards.

(First printed in the Gazette on February 22, 2018)

 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

July 15 2019

After six weeks of my nose and cheek being hidden, and although the surgeon told me “You’re good to go,” I didn’t feel that way at all. My face was red and swollen and I felt badly about walking ba...

July 8 2019

Continuing with my story of Life goes on, how do you?...  After our daughter’s graduation, I returned to the surgeon, who cut a flap of skin from my cheek and grafted it to my nose while keepi...

July 1 2019

Our theme this month is “Life Goes On, How Do You?” Although it wasn’t the loss of a loved one, I experienced a loss six years ago that brought me face to face with the question, Life goes on, how ...

June 24 2019

As we’ve been saying this month, grief companions come in many forms. In addition to humans, animals can be incredible companions for us on our grief journeys. I know our dog, Lady, helped us throu...

June 17 2019

At an education and support group I co-facilitated, we asked the participants to think about who had been the most supportive companions on their grief journeys. The answers came in many forms – fa...

June 10 2019

This week we continue with the theme, Grief. Companions Come in Many Forms.” I share with you now, Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D.’s 11 Tenets of Companioning the Bereaved: Companioning is about… Being pre...

June 3 2019

Our theme this month is “Grief. Companions Come in Many Forms.” Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D., first introduced me to the concept of grief companions. As a spiritual director, the tenets of grief companionin...

May 27 2019

The theme, “Loss. What Never Changes?” makes me think of the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz. After all kinds of loss, Dorothy learns that in order to return home, she doesn’t need the help of the ...

May 20 2019

In order to help us embrace our brokenness and attend to what never changes in loss, it is important to find safe places and communities where our hidden wholeness is welcome.  Our Monday’s Mo...

May 13 2019

Last week we introduced this month’s theme, “Loss. What Never Changes?” and referenced the hidden wholeness within us. In his book, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey toward an Undivided Life – Welcom...