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Silence and Solitude: Healing and Comfort

Sometimes when we grieve, silence and solitude can be heart wrenching as we feel very lonely and cry out to touch or hear our loved one just one more time. It also can be very difficult to adjust to life alone after many years of being together or to find ourselves alone after a relationship break-up, leaving a job, or perhaps moving to a new city. Further, feelings of isolation are common among grievers, as many people do not want to talk about grief or experience someone else’s grief.

In the prologue to the Rule of St. Benedict, the saint encourages those who follow his Rule of Life: “Listen carefully, my child, to the master’s instruction, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.” Our hearts are where God speaks to us, especially during times of silence and solitude. By contemplating God’s commandments and instructions in our hearts and striving to incorporate them into our lives, we learn that we are never alone. God is calling us, and if we respond, we can experience an abundant, loving relationship with the Holy Trinity; a relationship that transforms us and heals our grief.

Why? Our heads tend to be very analytical and want to rearrange things to fit our ideas of how the world should be and how we think God should act. Yet, if we listen and attend with our hearts, we often find another path, one that leads us away from the world (our heads) into silence and solitude, where we can listen for God and experience His love and be comforted and healed.

As grievers, listening with the ear of our heart allows us to bring to the surface the unresolved emotional communications that we did not share for whatever reason or did not even know even existed. They include those things we wished we had said or done differently and unrealized hopes and dreams for the relationship. By sharing them with someone you trust and/or a grief recovery specialist, you are invited to release the fear, anger, sorrow, and joy associated with them. This, in turn, allows you to move beyond grief.

Listening with the ear of our heart also tracks closely with one of the key themes of The Grief Recovery Method®: Be a heart with ears. It means to listen empathetically to grievers and be with them, but not to try to fix or offer advice. As noted in a recent blog post, sometimes saying nothing at all, says everything. Most often grievers just want to be heard. Empathy requires listening with the ear of your heart, not your head and not your mouth. Listening with your heart honors those who are grieving, validates their feelings, and frees them from their prison of isolation.

If you have any questions or would like to talk about a loss(es) in your life, please call me at 404-771-9335. As a certified grief recovery specialist, I can help. Remember: Grief occurs with all sorts of losses, not just death or divorce.

The Grief Recovery Method® is a transformative program that provides a safe, confidential opportunity to gain a better understanding of grief and the myths and misinformation our society perpetuates about grief and the grieving process. It also teaches specific action steps to say goodbye to the pain and heartache caused by loss. By doing so, you will be able to move on and be happy once again. The Grief Recovery Method® is not therapy, but an educational program. It is available in an eight-week grief support group or a seven-week one-on-one format. The Grief Recovery Institute is not affiliated with any religious organization.

© Ekteleo Ministry, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

James, J. W. and Friedman, R. 2009. The Grief Recovery Handbook (20th Anniversary Expanded Edition). Collings Living, New York, NY.

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