October 21, 2017
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Connecting for Comfort and Healing

April 29th, 2010 by judytalks

Connecting with another person, for any reason, is a considered choice. It requires a deep commitment and consistent interaction. When one chooses to connect with a grieving child, there is usually considerable soul searching before the choice is made.
A grieving child is fearful, feels abandoned, and has many unanswered questions. To accept the task of dealing with these issues, a caring adult will need to devote quantity, as well as quality time to this endeavor.
A distinction must be made between touching base and real connecting. Touching base is checking in occasionally, and it’s important. But connecting is deeper, more consistent, and involves ongoing dialogue.
True comfort will only take place when you are dependable and attentive. Regularly scheduled visits, outings, and talks will give a foundation of security and trust, two values that help allay the feeling of abandonment. Dialogue invites the child to express her fears and verbalize the questions and confusion that continually occupy her mind. For a connection to lead to real healing, there must be support and stability in the early stages of loss, followed by guidance and reassurance throughout the mourning period.
A wounded child will not heal until he feels safe. His shattered world view must be reconstructed before the pain and bewilderment goes away, and leaves him feeling rested and at peace. This will not happen in a matter of weeks or even months. But once a foundation of trust is established, and a brighter, happier view of the world is realized, this wounded child will relax and adopt a more optimistic outlook on life.
Can we make such a commitment to a child we know and love? It really isn’t complicated. It simply requires making that considered choice, based on the facts. Children are our most valuable citizens.
Healthy, happy children everywhere.
Judy

The Art of Listening

April 13th, 2010 by judytalks

Some people are born listeners. Others have to work at it. The good listener may or may not be a quiet, intuitive person, but to be a good listener, one has to be interested in the person who is talking.
I often talk here about grief and loss because those are the subjects I write and teach about. The art of listening in regard to those subjects has a high impact.
My last blog post dealt with the importance of giving consistent comfort to a grieving friend or family member. It included the fact of being a good listener. Here are some tips for listening if you happen to be one of those people who has to work a bit at it.

Ask a question and then stop talking. Don’t answer your own question.

Concentrate on the speaker. Lean forward, focus on that person’s face, and shut out surrounding distractions.

Encourage the speaker by nodding your head and affirming what they are saying. Reserve comments until they are finished. It may take awhile for a grieving or distressed person to “get it all out”, but the purpose of listening is just that. To lend your time and attention to the task of expression for someone you care about.

Practice listening and see if it doesn’t improve relationships, whether the situation involves a stressful situation or not. And if it does, be assured that you have offered a rare gift to someone in need. Simply listening gives immeasurable comfort in times of sadness and pain. It says,”Even though I can’t change how you feel, I care.”
Give someone your silent devotion.

Judy

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