I recently wrote about my walking trip organised by SVB where I am volunteering. I work with the African Caribbean Women’s group. You never really know the essence of coming together to share different experiences until it hits you and you realise how much you want someone to just listen to you. This is what the group does; women come together to draw strength from each other. In our last meeting there was a reoccurring issue that came up, not just with one woman but 3 women. They had each lost someone in their lives at different times but got the same response from those around them. People expected them to grieve in a particular way, in fact one was recommended for psychiatric evaluation because she wasn’t responding to grief the way they had expected her to. The good news is all three women have moved on, they have become pillars of support to others around them.
Grief is something everyone will experience in life whether we believe it or not; no parent wants to bury their child hence the child will go through grief when the parent dies or whenever anyone experiences any form of loss. It may not always be death; it could be the news of a terminal disease, loss of a job, failure at exam or anything that causes distress. We are either at the receiving end or have someone within our inner circle going through this phase. No matter the position you occupy you are still affected, and your response affects many people. Let’s look at the person experiencing the loss in whatever capacity; we shouldn’t always expect them to cry all the time, some people express their emotions behind closed doors and it’s perfectly okay besides they often do it to remain strong for people around them. Often times they may not need you to come around to start asking lots of questions, they may just need your presence without your words and it’s equally acceptable; we need to learn to be comfortable with silence.
If there’s anything I’ve learnt in life, it’s that feeling of knowing people have got your back, that place where you can come together and just be yourself. It’s found in friendship; you don’t try to act like superman/woman before them rather you are comfortable showing your vulnerability, inadequacies knowing full well they may not have all the answers to life but all of you can come together to discuss possible solutions. After all it’s written Iron sharpens iron. No one should walk this earth alone; a close friend recently made a drastic decision from an experience he was going through and when I found out I was extremely sad and I asked him why he didn’t reach out to me? Granted I may not have had the solution but we would have reasoned together and probably sought help from elsewhere. There have been stories of people who had died in their apartments for days and no one even noticed their absence because they had lived an isolated life.
Please don’t get me wrong; I am not saying you should run off to go make friends with everyone rather be friendly, look out for friends of like minds or support groups. Never live in a place where no one knows you exist. This sums it up perfectly ‘Two are better than one… for if they fall one will lift up his companion but woe to him, who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up’ Eccl 4:9 – 10.
Phote Credit : Google Images
N/B: Sharing Voices Bradford isn’t just a women’s group, it is for men too, just in case you need help or want to refer someone.
Loads of Love