Brad attended a funeral for an old friend of his in Iowa a few weeks ago. The gentleman who died did not hold a prestigious job.
He wasn’t fabulously wealthy. He was simply one of those exceptional people who touch so many lives that his memorial was held in a large public venue to accommodate the community of mourners. People came from all points to pay their respects. To grieve. To comfort. And, to be comforted.
Before he left, Brad said he wanted to try out the things he has learned from reading this blog, in particular about what not to say when someone dies. He wanted to give comfort like the comfort he had received in a a note our friend wrote when his mother died.
For him, it wasn’t just an experiment. He wanted to connect with his old friends who would also be there in a way that showed how much he cares for them. He wanted them to know that he understood the grief they were experiencing. Like anyone trying something new, he was a little nervous, both about how they might respond to him and to how they might comfort him in his own grief.
This is what he told me about his experience of comforting his fellow mourners and being comforted by them in return.
“I placed my hands on their shoulders and their eyes opened wide. I must have had 250 people hug me. Their embraces were warm and caring.”
What did he say? He spoke of how much the deceased meant to him and how the deceased had touched his life. He spoke of his own shock and sadness about this loss, and, he spoke about how he knew they were grieving too.
I asked him how he felt about his experience.
“This is how we need to grieve. We need to say the words that are so difficult. People need to think about the act of comforting others differently, sharing their hearts and understanding how important it is to connect. They need to know that where there is love, there is grief.”
His words that day touched hearts, and in return, his own heart was comforted. Like the man whose funeral Brad attended, he was not afraid to express his thoughts and feelings.
Life Is Honest, Open and True: When you speak from your heart, it’s possible to comfort others. The next time you have the opportunity to share what it is in your heart, take a few moments to compose your thoughts and then choose words that express your own feelings. You’ll be rewarded for your effort with the joy of connecting with someone in that moment.
Do you have a story to tell about how you stepped out in courage and spoke from your heart? Tell me about it in the comments or tweet me @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!
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