Thursday, February 25, 2016

It Takes a Village

You know how people say, "It takes a village." 

It does. 

It takes a village to raise a child.

But, it also takes a village to bury a child.

In the days and possibly months of shock it is easy to find your village.  They surround you.  When you feel numb or like you are living out of body they carry you.  They feed you, they clean your house, they get your dog groomed, they take your kids to the park, they go on walks with you, they write lesson plans for you, they are careful to learn what they can about dealing with grief in a short amount of time.  They surround you.  They literally do everything they can to bend over backwards to help you.  They are your village.  It takes a village.

In the days of realization and moving in and out of the stage of retreat, you still need a village.  The shock is over and now you feel everything your body didn't let you feel before.  You feel the most intense pain of your life.  You physically hurt.  You have to accept that your little boy is not coming back.  You fight sleep during the day and insomnia at night.  The feelings are relentless.  You literally have holes in your memory.  You cannot do the things you used to do.  All of the sudden when grief is uncomfortable for your village, they want to ignore your pain or they want you to get over it.  The entire village won't turn away but there will be a few people that you will no longer be able to count on in those times of intense pain because moving in and out of realization is not fun.  They can no longer understand why grief can't be hurried or "finished."              

I've learned it takes a village, but sometimes you only have a small neighborhood.  Even with the best intentions people slip out of touch with how to be a good friend when you walk through the process of grief.  I guess I wish we had a better "handbook" for dealing with this messy thing called grief but I'm glad we don't because it clearly was not God's plan.  It was not his intention for us to be hurt this way.  If you are a friend of someone that is grieving, especially the loss of a child, be uncomfortable for them and don't leave them alone in their home without access to their village.  They need you even if they say they don't. 

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