If you only read one piece from Healing Words today, this should be it.  This poem says it all.

Thank you, Kelly, for granting us permission to share your words to help us to be a better friend to loved ones who are grieving.

Please See Me Through My Tears

By Kelly Osmont

You asked, "How are you doing?"

As I told you, tears came to my eyes...

and you looked away and quickly began to talk again.
All the attention you had given me had drained away.

"How am I doing?"…

I do better when people listen,

though I may shed a tear or two.

These feelings are indescribable.

If you've never felt them you cannot fully understand.

Yet I need you.

When you look away,

when I’m ignored.

I am again alone with them.

Your attention means more than you can ever know.

Really, tears are not a bad sign, you know!

They're nature's way of helping me to heal…

They relieve some of the stress of sadness

I know you fear that asking

How I’m doing brings me sadness

....but it doesn’t work that way.

The memory of my loved one's death will always be with me,

Only a thought away.

My tears make my loss more visible to you,

but you did not cause this sadness.

It was already there.

When I cry, could it be that you feel helpless,

not knowing what to do?

You are not helpless,

and you don't need to do a thing but be here for me.

When I feel your permission to allow my tears to flow,

you’ve helped me.

You need not speak.  Your silence is all I need.

Be patient…do not fear.

Listening with your heart to "how I am doing"

validates what I’m going through,

for when the tears can freely come I feel lighter.

Talking to you releases

what I've wanted to say aloud,

clearing space for a touch of joy in my life.

I'll cry for a minute or two... and then I'll wipe my eyes,

and sometimes you'll even find I'm laughing in awhile.

When I hold back the tears, my throat grows tight,

my chest aches, my stomach knots...

because I'm trying to protect you from my tears.

Then we both hurt...

me, because my feelings are held inside,

causing pain and a shield against our closeness…

and you, because suddenly we are emotionally distant.

So please, take my hand and see me through my tears...

          then we can be close again


Kelly Osmont, MSW, LCSW, is a psychotherapist with a specialty in grief and loss as well as a nationally known speaker.  We are delighted to be able to offer you her booklet 'More Than Surviving - caring for yourself while you grieve'.  See Bereavement.

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