Friday, April 29, 2011

Saturday's Sayings - Grief Needs a Safe Place

Saturday's Sayings

Grief Needs a Safe Place

The first thing that grief needs is a safe place. People rarely grieve in a foxhole or when under pressure/stress. There are exceptions such as when our grief is so overwhelming that it comes pouring out whenever it wishes. But most times our grief seeks a place where we have a sense of safety. Children often will find their grief when they are "tucked in" and ready to go to sleep. At that moment they sense a certain safety and when this is combined with a loving presence from a parent their grief can often flow.

Think about your own safe places. Where does your grief flow? Where do you feel safe? In your bedroom? With a close friend? Talking with others? Alone in a quiet place? At the cemetery?

You can be pretty sure that where ever your grief flows freely you likely feel safe.

It is important to point out that we all find safety in very different places.

Differences in Men and Women's Grief, generally:
Recent research has helped us to understand that men and women tend to have very different safe places. The work of Shelly Taylor, Ph.D. of UCLA has shown that under stress women will be more likely to move towards interaction with others while men will be more likely to move towards taking an action or moving towards inaction and self-reflection. The women seem to prefer a face-to-face mode while the men are more likely to prefer a shoulder-to-shoulder or solitary approach.

Knowing our loved one's safe places can be a big help in being sensitive to their grief and paths to work with it.

Once we have a safe place we then find a way to tell our story within that safety.

~Tom Golden (highlights and subtitle, mine)

~Tom Golden -


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