How Do You Hold Space for Grief

woman at window sad
2 minute read

Holding space for grief allows us to feel and connect with what’s important.

Grief is inevitable. It’s the backside of joy, love, happiness.

Knowing that grief is inevitable doesn’t shield us from feeling. Nor does it make it ‘easier’.

And what does it mean to hold space for Grief?

In 1988 I met Kerry.

I worked in sales at a computer manufacturer in Irvine, California.

When she was hired, they put her in the office next to me. We became friends and quickly after that, we became roommates.

32 years of friendship. 32 years of girl trips, adventures, life events, relationships, heartaches, and stories.

Honoring what you’ve lost

Kerry could remember everything. I loved getting the random phone call where she would start the conversation with a cheery tone “Lizel, remember when we …” and the story would unfold.

She was my living time capsule. Always storing away the memories.

Over this past year, we spoke or messaged almost daily. She lived in Denver.

Kerry had gone through breast cancer with virtually no support from her family and recently had fallen and fractured her back, broke her hip, and was generally unwell.

3 weeks ago she sounded different, she wasn’t feeling well. She was in pain. I asked her to call an Uber and get to the hospital. She said she would.

2 days passed without a return call or text and I called the Sherrif for a welfare check. She had a stroke.

And today I got the message from her brother that over the last 2 weeks she’d had multiple strokes. It was time for the DNR and last rites.

Over the course of 3 weeks, her body just could not stay alive. A gracious passing happened quickly as her family said goodbye.

I knew this was coming. I hoped it wouldn’t, but I knew it was coming.

Grief. A big wall of grief. I’m not grieving for her, I’m grieving for me. It’s my loss, her family’s loss.

This year, in particular, is filled with so many losses. Loved ones, freedoms, routines. We’ve all lost something important or someone important to us.

How do we hold space for grief?

I’m not sure I have the answers. I know what works for me.

Today I will make space for feeling, remembering, laughing, crying, and loving.

I will hold space by reaching out to other people to tell stories and listen to their stories.

I will honor my friend by being present to her life.

And I think that’s the key. Being present.

Holding space is about being present. ❤️

My questions for you are:

  • Where do you need to be more present?
  • Who do you need to honor?
  • Who do you need to connect with?
  • How can you hold space for grief?

Here are a few articles you might like:
Seven Ways to Hold Space for Grief
What ‘Holding Space’ Means + 5 Tips to Practice
Holding Space: The Art of Being Present with Others

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xoxo Lisa
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