…grieving can cause a physical ache.

Things I have learned from grieving people…

grieving can cause a physical ache.  Did you know that?  It’s true.  With no other obvious cause, a doctor might call it stress.  But if you are the one that lost a love one, you know the pain is your grief. 

Some folks feel it in their chest, stomach or even over their heart.  When we see someone we care for grieving deeply it’s easy to sense the emotional pain they are experiencing.  We may see grief in their tears or loss of appetite or lack of feelings or even their frustration and confusion but you can’t see a physical ache. After hearing person after person describe the pain their body feels when they are grieving, it’s easy to understand where the term “heartbreak” comes from. 

This is just one of the many things I have discovered from listening to people share their grief.  Why is their pain such a secret?  Is it because they have such difficulty sharing or that we have such difficulty hearing?  Yes. No. Both?  I can’t see any simple answers.

But I know that when someone is grieving timing is everything.  We need to let those we care for know that we are willing to open ourselves up to hearing their grief and seeing their pain.  The thing is, you can’t make an offer like that only once and mean it.  If you truely want to support someone through their grief, you need to offer to be there repeatedly, and consistently.  The first time you offer they probably won’t hear you and if they do hear you they won’t grasp what you are offering.  So just be around.  Pop in, drop a note, leave a message and send up a prayer.  Then offer again. The more popping, dropping, leaving and praying you have done, the more likely they’ll grasp what you are offering and maybe, just maybe, they will be in a place on that day, at that time to share with you their grief.    What a blessing.  Not to them…but to you.

Karen Tripp MS

Speaker, Author, Counselor

About Karen Tripp

Beyond being a Christian Counselor and the President of Cancer Companions, Karen loves to read (she's a great reader) and loves to sing (she's a bad singer) in her home near St Louis, MO. Cancer has personally touched Karen's personal life through her dad - a 23 year colon cancer survivor. Impacting lives for Christ through her speaking, writing and counseling fills Karen with a passion which infuses every task she approaches. (except matching socks. Karen hates matching socks.)
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