Every Story Counts

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As I was at the airport earlier this week, welcoming home some friends, I was struck by how many cars were parked throughout the various lots on and around the airport property. Each of those vehicles represented a person, a family – a story. People fly for business, for pleasure, for necessity. Perhaps they are running away from something, or running to someone. Whatever the reason, we must remember that every story is important and every story counts.

When you are in the midst of grief, you often feel isolated and disconnected from the rest of the world. It seems impossible that anyone can comprehend how you are feeling and what you are facing. It may seem that those around you are uncaring as they go about living their own lives, seemingly without a care in the world. Doesn’t anyone realize what has just happened to you?

The answer to this question is a big “Yes” and unfortunately an equally large “No.” While others may realize you have experienced a tremendous loss – the “Yes” answer – they truly have no way of understanding its depth and the force with which it affects you – the “No” answer. What you must keep in mind as you live day to day, is that your journey is important and your story does make a difference in this world. Every story counts.

No one’s loss is unimportant. I have heard some people comment, “Well, your loss is so much worse than mine.” However, I have come to believe that a loss is a loss. Saying good-bye to a newborn baby too ill to survive the rigors of childbirth can be just as painful as having to bury a husband of thirty years, or a sister you have enjoyed for a lifetime. All loss is difficult and every story counts.

People will handle their grief differently. Some will shed tears while others remain stoic and put forth a strong façade, crying only when they are alone and feel safe being vulnerable. The confusion that accompanies grief at times can cause the survivors to question how they are handling things as they compare themselves to friends and family.

I encourage you to be yourself in your grief. Realize that what you think and feel has meaning. What you are experiencing is real and important. There is no one who has the right to tell you to stop crying, to be strong, and to just get over it. That is not fair because every story counts. Every loss deserves to be mourned and felt. There will come a day when yes, you will lift your head a little higher, glance around a little more, and decide this is the day you will choose to take a step in your healing.

Until you allow yourself to embrace your loss and pain, though, your forward progress will be impeded by many setbacks. The grief journey has plenty of ups and downs of its own. Ignoring the work of grief and failing to acknowledge that you have a story to process through will only add to the hills and valleys you must maneuver.

Here is to your journey – may you make the most of it as you realize that every story counts.

Until next time –

Karen

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Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667

E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650

Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.