October 19, 2021
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What I Learn When I Listen

July 17th, 2010 by judytalks

I’ve been writing seriously for nearly ten years now, and have talked with and to many people on the subjects close to my heart. The issues of grief, loss, and life building are crucial to the health and well being of persons, families, and community in general. Everyone suffering loss needs to talk about the grieving process, but very few want to listen. Perhaps that’s why, when I talk to individuals for research, or teach a seminar, people open up and pour out long held feelings about death and mourning. Even in social situations it’s not uncommon, when I mention my writing, for one or more persons to share a story about the loss of a loved one.
What is it that keeps us from encouraging this exchange of personal situations? The stories are rarely morbid in tone, in fact they’re usually more anecdotal, sometimes even humorous, but reveal honest emotions regarding their loss.
It’s likely we shy away from death because it seems scary and too personal. But I’ve learned, and research confirms, that the more we connect and contribute to the knowledge base, the more relaxed we become.
Do I recommend social gatherings spend an entire evening discussing the finer points of death and bereavement? Of course not. I would suggest that when someone brings up the subject that we all listen quietly, contribute if you wish, and know that you’ve helped create a healthier model for others to follow.

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