Posted by: riverchilde | June 3, 2013

There is no playbook

I ran across this blog today, which referred to this resource. I’ve not gone completely through it, but here’s what caught my attention: “When we grieve, we each walk a different journey. No one can tell you how to grieve. Your process is your process.” 

The best thing someone did for me immediately after Alex’s death was to tell me “there is no playbook for this.” Those words gave me permission to make decisions that were right for me, right for my family, and right for my community. They allowed me to shrug off worries about what another generation might consider “appropriate” or “necessary” or “proper,” so that we might do what was most healing and suited to our needs (like a personaliized heartfelt thank you message pre-printed on postcards that we could add a single statement and our signature, address and mail. Without those, the tidal wave of support that washed over us could have drowned us, rather than buoyed us up.)

They freed us to wait to design a memorial stone until we were able to do it thoughtfully, meaningfully and in a state of mind that allowed the process to become a way of giving a gift to those who love Alex, rather than a hurried, agonized “duty”.

And they freed me to consider “Alex’s final resting place” not as the place where my son resides (he resides with the Holy Trinity), but as the place where my grief has a home, where I can mark the changes of the season and the progression of the days with little love gifts to him. To me, Alex isn’t there, but the stone marks the truth that he was–and is–somewhere, and that his life mattered.

I could go on and on about the way that these words freed us, but then you might not actually read or download the resource. So here it is: The Faces of Grief, from the women of the ELCA :



  1. Thank you for that message of freedom. I had a brief hand in some of that resource and I thank you for drawing others into it for whatever tidbit will bring comfort.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: