Some things cannot be fixed
Grief and loss happen to everyone. We've all felt misunderstood during times of great pain. No one can win; we know we need help, but we don't really know what to ask for. Trying to help, we can actually make things worse for people going through some of the hardest times in their lives. There's a reason this all feels so hard: as a culture, we've been taught the wrong way to respond to grief. In my new book, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand, I explore the realities and challenges inside living with grief. By understanding the true nature of grief, we can get what we all most want: to help each other in our moments of need, to feel loved and supported no matter what horrors erupt in our lives. To the person who wants to help someone who is grieving: It may seem counterintuitive, but the way to truly be helpful to someone in pain is to let them share the reality of how much this hurts and how hard this is without jumping in to clean it up, make it smaller, or make it go away. Allowing someone the truth of their own experience is a deep act of love—and respect. It might feel weird to stop fixing things when someone you love is in pain. That's OK! New skills take time. If you are grieving: It's important to know that you don't need to be "transformed" by your loss, nor are you doomed to a desolate existence of sadness. Your grief may never go away; it may never be OK. But you will learn to carry it with you. Your grief will change as you change and it will get easier. What we all have in common—and the real reason for this book—is a desire to love better. To love ourselves in the midst of great pain, and to love one another when the pain of this life grows too large for one person to hold. This book offers the skills needed to make that kind of love a reality. Together, we can make things better, even when we can't make them right.