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

April 19 2021

“Leaning Into Sorrow” is something I’m privileged to witness on a regular basis. I companion people as they are dying, as a loved one is dying, and after a loved one has died. As I do this, I’m con...

April 12 2021

Continuing with our theme of “Leaning Into Sorrow,” our natural inclination is to lean away from pain. I often quote Robert Frost, “The best way out is always through.” I’ve learned in both my pers...

April 5 2021

This month our theme is “Leaning Into Sorrow.” According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, sorrow and grief have the same definition, “deep sadness especially for the loss of someone or something ...

March 29 2021

I’ll close out this month of posts about masculine and feminine grieving by sharing a table adapted from Thomas R. Golden’s book Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing. ...

March 22 2021

A third difference between the masculine and feminine styles of grieving is the masculine wants to connect to the future while the feminine wants to connect with the past. The masculine wants to us...

March 15 2021

Another difference between the masculine and feminine styles of grieving is the masculine is private and quiet while the feminine is emotionally expressive and relationship-oriented. Unfortunately,...

March 8 2021

Continuing with our theme of “Masculine & Feminine Grieving,” one of the big differences between the two styles is the masculine is more active and the feminine is more interactive. Someone who...

March 1 2021

This month our theme is “Masculine & Feminine Grieving.” It is important to recognize that each of us is made up of a unique blend of masculine and feminine qualities. This blend affects how we...

February 22 2021

I leave you this month with the closing quote from my article: As we think about being courageous and listening to our hearts, consider these words from Henri Nouwen, a writer and Catholic priest:...

February 15 2021

Here is more of the “Heartfelt Support” article:             In one of our support series, we asked the group to think of the person who had been most supportive...