Being Seen in your Grief

woman, alone, crowd

In our grief, many times, we want to be seen. 

My sister-in-law just lost a remarkable man in her life. He was someone who stepped in to be her father figure when her father was geographically far away. He was there on some of her most challenging days. She learned from his encouragement, strength, and wisdom. 

Knowing the pain of losing my father, I wondered how I might help. Now, I know I can’t help much because grief is grief. It doesn’t just go away; it is unpredictable. But I do know how lonely it can feel when you are grieving. Life goes on for everyone else, but you remain stuck in your grief. 

You feel like life is moving in slow motion and sometimes comes to a standstill. It may feel like everyone is passing you by in their world. 

Sometimes, all you want is to be seen. 

So I decided to look for a gift that may comfort her and let her know that I was thinking about her and that I understood her grief. 

I found an excellent Hygee box on Etsy that contained a warm blanket, fuzzy socks, tea, and chocolate—all the comforts you need when feeling down. Now, I know it was not going to take away the grief or the pain,  but I hoped it would make her feel loved and seen. 

When she received it, she messaged me and told me how much she needed it, how she was able to have a good cry and sit in her grief. She thanked me for making her feel seen. 

Sitting in Your Grief

I have learned that when we are sitting in our grief, we don’t need someone to make it disappear; we need someone to recognize we are in pain and to validate our feelings by making us feel seen. 

I have learned that one way to make them feel seen is to sit with them, ask them to share about that person and share their love. 

We may not understand all of their grief, but we can be present for it. Let them talk about that person and share the joys of their life. 

I know that is what I needed when my dad passed away. 

When you are sitting in your grief, there will not be anyone who can take it away. It moves through you like a roller coaster, constantly changing with big drops, narrow turns, and sharp curves. It makes you cry. It makes you scream. It makes you want to disappear. Many times, you don’t want words to comfort you. You don’t want to hear, “My thoughts and prayers are with you.” You don’t want someone to make you forget your pain. You want someone to recognize your pain. You want to be seen. You want to be held. You want someone to listen to you. You want someone to sit with you in your pain with no expectations. 

Many people do not know what to say or do in these circumstances, and they often mean well. But you may just want their presence and ability to see you in that moment, in that state of grief. 


Dear friend, 

Know that you are not alone in your grief. 

You are seen. 

Your feelings are valid. 

If you need to cry…..cry!

If you need to scream…. Scream!

If you need to be alone…. Be alone!

Feel what you need to feel. 

Process what you need to process. 

Nobody’s experience with grief is the same. So it is ok to feel how you feel. 

When you are ready, share their story with others; hopefully, it will bring joy into your world. 


You can read more about grief in my other blog posts 

Your Grieving Heart

Suspended in Time


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