Full stop. One of the most difficult experiences in this precious life is the loss of someone we love and need. When you are riding the waves of grief, and sometimes feeling like a little boat on a big ocean without any land in sight, reaching out for support is an absolute must. Whether psychotherapy, a trusted friend, or a support group, it is so kind and important to remind ourselves that although we walk this journey alone, we remain connected to others. 

I offer this poem to you to honour your pain and as validation of what may lie ahead for you in your grief journey. As someone who has lost many loved ones in my life, know that I see you. 


When I ask you to listen to me,
And you start giving me advice,
You have not done what I asked.
When I ask that you listen to me,
And you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way,
You are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me,
And you feel that you have to do something to solve my problems,
You have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Listen:  All that I ask is that you listen,
Not talk or do – just hear me.
When you do something for me
That I need to do for myself,
You contribute to my fear and feelings of inadequacy.
But when you accept as a simple fact
That I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational,
Then I can quit trying to convince you
And go about the business
Of understanding what’s behind my feelings.
So, please listen and just hear me
And, if you want to talk
Wait a minute for your turn – and I’ll listen to you.

By anonymous author, as appeared in St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 19, 1994

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