Let’s Talk About Grief

Fran Wohlenhaus-Munday and Jack Munday
Contributing Writers

We don’t often get feedback on this column, and, to tell the truth, don’t expect any. Occasionally someone sends an email to our website but our goal is to help others with the column.

However, recently at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, in East Bethel, we had a moving experience with respect to our column. We came into church for worship on a Sunday, just like normal. We saw a friend sitting over by the library, alone and reading what we found were our columns that have been put in a three-ring binder. He had tears in his eyes. We sat with him and talked for about 15 minutes.

Our friend was not mourning the death of a loved one, but was, in a way, seeing our struggle, feeling our pain. He was reading the columns that he doesn’t see because he lives too far south to get this newspaper. He asked us why we were still helping people find the path to healing after more than 30 years since Marlys died.

One reason is that we help others to keep on honoring Marlys. So often she would say, “If you see someone without a smile, give then yours.” We try to do that.

Another reason we write the column is that people in this part of the United States are much less willing to attend grief support groups than people in other parts of this nation.

For what ever reason, other regions have much greater participation in such groups. So, as we wrote not long ago, it is alright to cry when one misses one’s loved one. In this area, mourners want or need to be alone when they acknowledge their grief. Our column gives our readers an opportunity to reflect on where they are on the path to healing, and to know that someone cares about how they feel. Even if it is a simple reassurance like we are writing here, it is a comfort both to know that someone cares and, as our friend remarked, that someone has made it through a terrible loss and survived.

We also acknowledge that there are times when we grief over events that may not involve the death of a loved one, but that we feel pain of a loss. Our friend is in the middle of a divorce. It comforted him to see that others with much greater loss survived.

Fran and Jack Munday have worked with the bereaved for more than 25 years, and write frequently on grief issues. E-mail: [email protected] Information about their books is available at www.murdercanbesolved.com. Jack’s latest book can be found at www.johnsmunday.com