The Grief Gals

We were five, sitting around the dinner table, each having brought a dish to share. Outside it was bitter cold, but here in this circle, I felt the warmth and love of dear faces, stories, the shared history. Women who understood grief having all worked in a Hospice setting as grief counselors, knew the familiar tales and experiences that others might not perceive in the same way.

On this night I felt the comradery as we laughed at memories, talked of old frustrations, admiration of others, learned what is happening in each others lives, felt pride and amazement in knowing we had persisted during hard times.

We were trained to listen, witness tears, anger, fear, and support the determination to go on living. It was time now to reflet on the many grieving men, women, children, and families we had each sat with in their loss—the five of us collectively offering over 150 years in showing up for another’s loss, another’s unique expression of grief.

The beauty of these women warmed me. The strength and compassion we lived comforted me. The gratitude I felt for being guided to these women, this work, filled me.

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

Leo Buscaglia

“Grief does not change you, Hazel, it reveals you.”

John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
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