The Grief Manifesto

It makes no sense how anyone can understand an emotion that they haven’t experienced before.  And they don’t get us.  And we don’t get them as to why they don’t understand us.  Herein lies the disconnect.  Our expectations from each other are very high on both sides.  We expect them to be there for us as time goes on.  We expect them to see us through their eyes as the same people we always were, and it doesn’t work for them.  Because the truth is we are not the same and we are learning our new normal and re-defining who we are.  They see our void but they don’t feel it.  They just don’t know how to move forward and communicate with us with on the emotion of grief.  I think that is the bottom line as to why people wonder away from our lives when we are grieving the loss of a loved one.  None of this is fair and none of this seems right.

But I guess we have to see it for its truth.  There is a disconnection there that needs to reconnect in our relationships.  We need to unlearn what we have learned as a society as to how we understand dying, death, and grieving.  We have to reach across the table to help reconnect to others that do not live in or understand our world.  And we have the team advantage that they do not.  We have the knowledge and wisdom of the emotion of grief.  When we understand this, then we can reach over and be the first to offer the olive branch.  After all, we have sat in their place before, not vice-versa.   We can heal ourselves through the 10 Tenets of Grief Anonymous.  We can become a strong force for change as a group. We can find a loud enough voice to ask our medical communities, our religious and social groups, and our families and friends to understand the disconnect by educating them on what we need so that the doors of communication can open.  Most of the time I believe relationships fall away after grief simply because people don’t know what to say.  And half of what they say pisses us off! So no wonder there is a problem!!!

Western society does a terrible job of accepting grief into the mainstream of life.  It covers its eyes and ears and turns its head away.  But grief is something that is so impactful in life that it effects everyone whether they see it or not.  It is the big elephant in the room but with amazing internet capabilities we now have the ability to really find each other and network and share our true authentic experiences so that we can know we are not alone.  I am not competitive with my work in developing Grief Anonymous.  This emerging social change in the USA is too critical for that and we need all the organizations and programs and support we can get.  I am asking society to consider how important the subject of grief is for all.  All I can do is my part but I think I have a pretty good reading on the pulse of this issue and I am ready for this challenge.  I have a university education and two decades of sales and marketing experience…But to really be able to tackle these issues one must have sat on both sides of the table to truly solve these problems on a small and large scale.  I earned my degree in grief.  And my education I wish on no one.  And all I am doing is using my education to help give back what I have learned so that what was not there for me can be there for someone who might need it. Grief is something at some point we all have to learn unless we are the first to go.  And we can change the disconnect and light the way for others.

In love and light,

Holly C Barker, Founder of Grief Anonymous

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5 thoughts on “The Grief Manifesto

  1. You’re right about what you write I thought I would have my church but I feel like they don’t know what to say so they stay away but my pastor lost a son when he was 7 years old so I thought they would stay by me but maybe it brings back memory of his son. Thank you for doing this and I hope to find some way of living my life

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  2. We all handle grief differently.So,sure it is difficult to understand anothers.Most have gotten”a taste”of it at one time or another with the loss of something(a favorite toy,a pet,friend etc.),in our lifetime,so it would seem that the longer one posseses what is being grieved over,the intensity of the grief would be greater,and therefore less understood.
    However,since the expression level of emotions varies so greatly between us,it is not difficult to understand the concept of grief,but at what emotinal stage a griever may be at.
    Timewise,there is no basement nor ceiling.
    I am currently in a relationship,with someone I love dearly,that is also grieving over her life partner of 25 years,and also of her father,of which is thier most recent loss.I do understand her sadness,but they cant accept that I do understand.
    I do have to admit that I dont always know what to say.However,it’s not that I dont understand,nor feel an emotional loss also,but because I’m unable to say what’s on my mind or in my heart out of fear that my expression or response will send them spiraling downward.

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    • Yes. I love this response. And thank you for wanting to understand and to relate. I think we the ones who are grieving have the responsibility to share and explain as best we can. And then the response back is yours. Within the grieving community there are different types of grief such as the loss of a child. This one is impossible to imagine for anyone who’s not been through it. This human emotion and condition needs to be demystified and objectively handled in such a way to change societal norms so that a bridge can be created for support and understanding. You genuinely cannot feel grief without the experience attached to it, but you can use empathy and love to support and help those who need it. And for doing so I highly commend you.

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  3. I loved your blog. I am not in that place. What about those of us that have a really hard time accepting help from others? I’m very “sick” of people thinking I’m “moving on” when in fact I’m just having a good time or being friendly. I have no interest in recreating love with someone else. That’s my choice. And EVEN if I did, I have a 15 year old daughter who misses her father. Why would I bring someone else into her life? The friends I have, I feel I have burdened with my sadness, although it is not often. I hide a lot of feelings. But when the sadness and tears come, I apologize for them and I don’t think I should, but I do. Because after all, it’s been a year and a half and “people” think I should be over it already. I think that is what kills me the most. When you haven’t had this loss, then how do you know when? I wish friends (or “friends”) would shut up. It’s my journey, not theirs.

    I commend you on your blog and I don’t even know how I came across it. Right now I am reading the Mediocre Widow that a dear friend who also lost her husband sent to me. Thank you for your effort and continue on my friend.

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