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Grief Begs for More Quiet


Day 92: Grief Begs for Quiet, Stillness


When a loss occurs, there is typically an outreach, even a deluge (if you’re lucky) of support. In the acuity of the shock and numbness and confusion and terribleness, saying “sure, yes” can be easier than “no, thanks.” Because how should we know what we actually need at the beginning of something we have never experienced?


What I have come to know in my own grief, as well as what I observe in clients, is that when we finally have the capacity to listen to ourselves, we are drawn towards quiet and stillness, less stimulation, less noise, fewer words, more being in the woods, water, or nature.


My favorite place in Washington, DC is Lincoln’s Cottage @lincolnscottage. This historic home is set on a large swath of land that also houses the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Today, this place is an oasis in the middle of the city; in Lincoln’s time, the cottage was a wooded trail-ride to and from the White House. This is where Lincoln made his true home, where he developed the Emancipation Proclamation, where he witnessed the burials and rehabilitation of Civil War troops, and where he and his wife Mary found a little more space and quiet to grieve their 11-year old son, Willie.


It is no mystery to me why Lincoln and Mary not only preferred this home to the White House, but also needed it.


Please honor what you actually need in your grief when you have the capacity to listen.



Welcome to my 100-day project. I hope to provide a daily offering on something grief-related. I am a grief therapist and educator working with people in Oregon, Washington, DC, Maryland, and Maine.

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