"Grief Must Be Witnessed."

This week I took part in a training to support those who've experienced grief. One of the things the facilitator, David Kessler, said is "grief must be witnessed". I began to think about his statement and how that translates to the society we currently live in. We rather hide our grief and pain and allow people to witness our successes and highlight reels. The attention and support we get from success are effortless. But the truth is we can find true community and healing when we allow others to bear witness to our grief. The motive isn't for others to validate our grief because our grief is valid regardless of others' thoughts. The goal is to have someone present on the journey through grief.

I am going to go out on a limb, but I believe all of us who have made it this far in 2020 have experienced a degree of grief. I wonder how you've handled that grief. Have you tried to journey in silos or have you let others witness your grief? Have you let someone see you for where you are or have you masked and rolled with the punches of this year?

As we conclude 2020 and look to 2021, I challenge you to allow your grief to be witnessed by others. I cannot give parameters as to what that looks like for you. However, allow your hurt, pain, despair and all the other raw feels to be witnessed as you also allow your wins to be witnessed. One thing I have learned this year, although hard and maybe even uncomfortable, there is someone (at least one) who is capable and willing to show up with you and see your pain. I hope you find the courage to let them in.

Rooting for you, always.

Diamond James, LCSWA

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