On Grief

You may remember I have a part-time job on Thursdays at a chiropractic clinic. On those Thursdays, I’ve gotten to know some amazing people. One man, whom I will refer to as “T”, often came in with his young daughter. The girl’s mother came in for adjustments from time to time as well.

Late December, I read a post from a friend on Facebook that the girl and her mother died in a car accident on Christmas Day. They were heading to the Mount Hood area on snowy Highway 26, and the car lost traction, heading into oncoming traffic.

I barely knew any of them, yet my heart sunk down in my chest all the same. T had always struck me as someone I wanted to get to know better. I felt this strange kinship with him, in ways I can’t explain.

I contacted Doc at the clinic, asking if she had heard about this. She had, and said she felt so bad for T, yet didn’t know how to reach out to him – what to say, or do.

I didn’t either, but I reached out to someone who did, my dear friend and colleague Natalia Volz. Natalia lost her husband to pancreatic cancer several years ago and is now a grief guide. http://www.passingthroughgrief.com/.

Natalia said: Sometimes there are no perfect words, no words that will take away the pain. Sometimes the best thing to do is acknowledge the loss. You can say something like, “I heard of your tragic loss. I don’t know what to say, but I want you to know I care.” Then be okay with any awkward silence which may follow. Give him time. And listen if he talks. The most important thing is to see him. Don’t avoid him. I hope this helps.

It did help. We sent a card from the clinic saying almost exactly that.

I don’t know why, but I kept thinking of T, especially while showering in the morning. I kept sending him loving thoughts, over and over, letting him know I was praying for him and sending loving light his way.

The following Saturday morning, my fiancé and I went out for breakfast at Biscuits Cafe. I saw a man at a nearby table that I was almost sure was T. I only saw his profile at first, so couldn’t be sure. He was with what appeared to me to be a supportive group of men, talking and often laughing. At times, the man joined in the laughter. At times, his head lowered, and he appeared to check out and go inside himself.

At one point, his head turned towards our table, and we made eye contact. He recognized me. I quietly whispered to George, “It is him; he recognized me.” T and I stood up at exactly the same time and met between our tables. He asked how he knew me, and I said it was from the chiro clinic. My arms flew out without thought, and he hugged me back. I started to cry, a little. T didn’t. I said, “You have been in my thoughts and prayers.” We pulled apart and held hands. He said, “Thank you.”

We went back to our respective tables, and I haven’t seen T since.

Yet, as George suggested, the energy of love brought T and I together at that particular time, in that particular restaurant. I have no question.

Our thoughts, love, energy and voices are so very powerful. Even while just saying, “You’ve been in my thoughts and prayers” to someone you barely know yet feel love and compassion for all the same.

This is how the world spins around even better.

I hope these tips help you the next time you encounter someone dealing with grief. And if you are in grief, please contact Natalia.

Please spread the love and pass this post along to a friend!

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