Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday's Therapy - Let People Help You

Thursday's Therapy

You Need to Let People Help You


A TCF Speech – 8 Things I’ve Learned About the Grief of a Grieving Parent

by Charlie Walton

Part Six of Eight

First, a Side Note of Interest...

What a "small" world:

This week I received a “tweet” from a new friend I met on Twitter… It reads,

@AngiePrince Hi Angie We served in missions w/ Charlie Walton-His son Don lived with us in Honduras. Great kid! Sorry about ur loss-peace

and then this "tweet"--

@AngiePrince We always remember/miss Don Walton. He helped us drive a school bus from La. to Honduras & lived in our home w/ us in Honduras

How sweet to hear from missionaries I have never "met" but only on Twitter to tell me about a precious deceased child Don, of another man, Charlie Walton, whom I have never "met" but only through The Compassionate Friends, Atlanta whose meetings I have never attended in person and yet they accept me as a member through Facebook...

It seems this huge world is getting smaller and smaller to us every day as we are able to intimately get to know and love others without ever getting to meet them in person! Thank You Lord for Your amazing gifts of creativity like the internet that allows us to "connect" in such deep ways with folks we otherwise may have never gotten to meet!

Sunday, July 6, 2003 - TCF National Conference Closing Speech by Charlie Walton

Part Six


And speaking of tuna casseroles, that brings me to something else I have learned. You need to let people help you. Somewhere inside the human brain, there must be a little sign hanging on the wall that says "A tuna casserole will make things better."

People want to do something to help... and bringing food is the first thing that pops into their heads.

And, unless you want a lifetime supply of tuna casseroles, you'd better give them permission to do things, tangible things, things that will make them feel like they are helping.

I have heard a lot of people talk about how their friends came around immediately after the tragedy but never came back. What they usually forget is that those people said,

"If there is anything we can do to help, anything, please let us know."

Now, some of them don't really mean it, but a lot of them do.

Maybe a day comes when you are thinking "There is no way I can face the decisions at the grocery store today." Pick up the phone and tell one of your friends, "Remember what you said about helping? Well, would that include something as weird as stopping by the grocery store to pick up a few things for a basket-case who is not yet emotionally ready to see her child's favorite food on the shelf?"

Let people do things. They don't know how to provide grief counseling... but they know how to mow grass.

A friend of ours tells a wonderful story about going to console a grieving parent and saying as she was leaving, "Is there anything I can do to help?" And that parent said,

"You won't believe this but, on top of everything else, our washing machine just quit working. Is there any way you would be willing to wash a load of clothes for us?"

Our friend says that it was the most enjoyable load of clothes she had ever washed. She washed. She dried. She folded each piece lovingly. She felt so good at being able to do something tangible that felt like it was helping.

So, let people help you.

Thank you to Charlie who ministers to us amidst his deep grief over the loss of his son Don...


And, speaking of “You Need to Let People Help You,”

I don’t know who wrote this lovely poem, but perhaps it was written by a loving person who wanted to tangibly show his/her love for grieving parents in the only way s/he knew how. May we “let this person help” our grief with this very special poem, given anonymously!

"I'll lend you for a little while, 

a child of mine" God said,

"for you to love the while she lives,

and mourn for when she's dead.

It may be two or three short years,

or twenty-two or three,

but will you, till I call her back,

take care of her for me?

She'll bring her charms to gladden you,

and should her stay be brief,

you'll have her lovely memories

as solace for your grief.

I cannot promise she will stay,

since all from earth return,

but there are lessons taught down there

I want this child to learn.

I've looked the wide world over

in my search for teacher's true,

and from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,

I have selected you.

Now will you give her all your love?

Nor think the labor vain?

Nor hate me when I come to call,

to take her back again?"

God fancied he heard the parents say,

"Dear Lord, thy will be done.

For all the joy the child shall bring,

the risk of grief I'll run.

I'll shelter her with tenderness,

I'll love her while I may, 

and for the happiness I've known

forever grateful I'll stay.

But should the angels call for her,

much sooner than I planned,

I'll brave the bitter grief that comes,

and try to understand."



No comments:

Post a Comment