My Grieving Friend

Grief was a big part of my thought process over the last few days.  A dear friend of mine experienced a trauma that I can not even begin to understand.  She lost something so precious that it will change her forever.  Honestly, I think it will change me too.  At the very least, it has effected the way I express gratitude for even the smallest things.  What has struck me this week, though, is how grief is different in every situation.  As a counselor, I’ve been trained on how to counsel someone dealing with grief and I’ve put that training into practice with my clients.  I’ve experienced it firsthand and learned a lot about myself, my faith and my God.  But each time, it’s different.  The way I react physically varies.  The way I react emotionally varies from stoic to sobbing.  As I experience grief alongside my sweet friend, I’m well aware of the fact that I don’t have it all figured out.  The fact that I’m a counselor does not mean that I know how to help her move forward.  What I do know how to do is be supportive.  I know how to call her, text her, and sit quietly with her.  I know how to pray for her, make her dinner and offer to clean her bathroom.  I don’t know the perfect formula to move forward through grief.  I just know how to love her.  It’s the same way I love myself during hard times and the same way I love my clients as I bear witness to their growth.  Grief is painful, no matter what the circumstances.  Unwavering support is the only way I know how to grieve with someone.  That’s my job as a friend and as a counselor.  That’s what this week has taught me.