A cup of tea

Published 6:08 pm Monday, June 17, 2019

By Jenny Filush-Glaze
Grief Relief

There is something so rewarding in watching complete strangers come together and recognize that they have something in common. And, when we are talking about grief, that feeling validation is immediate, almost as if you can visibly see the weight of one’s problems fall off of their shoulders. It is truly an amazing thing to witness, however I have to say that I am not able to experience this as much as I would like to because there is still an overwhelming problem of people avoiding other people, refusing grief support.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand that a support group is not something for everyone. In fact, I find that there are those who feel their sadness heighten by listening to others troubles, but I would argue that this is not as commonplace as seeing those who actually thrive by being in the presence of those who “get it” or “understand what they are going through.”

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I guess you could argue that it comes down to mind frame and how we choose to approach grief support. Over the years, I have written about the importance of sharing our grief with others, an “unburdening” so to speak, and yet I am still mystified as to how many people continue to choose to travel the journey privately or alone.

Apologies to those who might think I am “judging” because I am certainly not, please understand that, it’s just that when I have the opportunity to see immediate relief on people’s faces or watch them walk out of a room a little bit lighter, it lets me know that there is so much truth in the power of a support group.

The thing about grief is that it is raw and many of us are simply not comfortable opening up to others or “showing” our feelings freely. Instead, we stuff them away or cry silently and alone, determined to put on that tough coat of armor that will keep everyone away, content in their thinking that you are doing fine.

Except, truth be told, you’re not, right?

One of my favorite things to do in grief support is to sit beside someone and talk over a cup of tea.

Something about that simple act helps diffuse the situation and allows people to be honest and forthright with their emotions.

Maybe it is the simple act of brewing, steeping or pouring- or maybe it is simply just allowing one another to be present in the moment that makes it so special.

And, when the words start pouring out so fast and the tears flow, shared memories and experiences brought into the conversation, I often smile at the fact that our tea becomes cold.

The bottom line is that grief continues to be a normal reaction to a terrible event, and we find that discovering support in others — whether that is individually or within a group setting, is extremely important in our healing.