As a counselor, I’ve had, and have, the honor and privilege of listening to others and assisting them as they’ve worked through grief experiences. I believe my ability to do this with compassion is due to the fact that I, myself, have had those who’ve been with me in my grief.
I’m particularly thankful for the excellent counselor who sat with me, as I worked through a long-standing depression and listened to me with the heart of Jesus.
It was from this counselor that I learned how to listen most effectively: to become present to both my own heart and to the Spirit of Jesus. In this quiet atmosphere of accepting grace and love, I found the freedom to grieve and the freedom to grow.
I’ve discovered that there is more for me to learn. I will not be finished until the day I breathe my last breath. However, I do not despair. Choosing gratitude always stirs up hope in my heart.
My poem, today, reflects some of what I’ve learned and am still learning.
About Grieving Don’t go back to where you’ve been, Rehearsing failures and past sin; Repentance means you’ve made a change. Forgiveness means you’re not condemned. In faith, move forward into “Today”: Needing not to prove your merit, Listening carefully to the Spirit, Doing what seems wise and loving. Pay attention to your feet. Direct your steps; walk purposefully. Let routines guide but not control you. When you’re sad, let Christ console you— Don’t, instead, deny your pain: When unresolved, it will remain, Causing damage to your brain, Making thought unmanageable. Anxiety may rise within you, But it need not overwhelm you. Stop and breathe; relax your body. This will help you think more clearly. When you feel angry, just admit it: Not with shame upon your face, Hiding it will build up rage, It’s a part of healthy grieving. If you focus long upon your loss, Fear may threaten to undo you. That’s the time to take a walk Or call a friend and share your heart— Someone who will sit in silence, Not try to fix you but simply listen, Sometimes reflecting what they hear But not repeating what you share. Give thanks for all of God’s good gifts: The autumn orange, red, and gold, The happy memories your heart holds, The pleasures of the present day— You will find great treasure if you’re alert To what God says and how love works; Gratitude restores your hope So, with grief and sadness, you can cope. 10/11/2019 Jane Ault