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Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Black Arm-Band

In an earlier post I was talking about the need for a grief symbol. We each need something that will remind us, hourly, daily, that we are grieving. This will give us permission to label our feelings more accurately: we'll know we are sad, not depressed; we'll know we are grieving, not rage-aholics. It allows us to be gentle with ourselves, when the world around us is too often critical.
But someone wrote to say that this blog helped alleviate some of the sense of loneliness that is a part of grief. Which got me thinking, again, about the role of the black arm-band. The arm-band not only shows the world that we are grieving, it enables us to recognize our fellow grievers. How amazing it would be in the darkness of grief to be able to see others who are on the same pathway. How encouraging it would be to see other grievers who are able to laugh, make plans, have hope.
So, let's be more intentional about sharing our experience, strength and hope with each other through this blog. Please send in your comments. I may ask if I can use some of them in my book later on. In the meantime, your comments would be welcomed by many. Thank you for reading and writing with me.


  1. I just googled the black arm band which I have read about in some books and did not get what I was looking for. When I read these books ( WW II ..?) I thought it would be lovely to wear on your sleeve that you were in mourning and be nice to me or excuse my crankiness or my poor concentration. A symbol of understanding for hard times which everyone will go through at some point. So, can we come with a black armband for those who grief and everyone will recognize as a person who needs extra care and consideration???! love , j9
    Orphan, no grandparents, one dead mother inlaw that was the best. No grandparents and two dead siblings and two dead friends and how many friends with cancer and 90 year old father inlaw (last parent) now with broken hip). If he dies I want to wear on my sleeve, a message, that, I too am grieving.

  2. The phone call in the middle of the night. Sudden, swift, confusing. No. no. No. No. No. No. How? When? Really? Pacing the driveway. Suddenly, the world changes and flights are arranged and I go where I need to go. And my other brother wants to pick me up as I kneel or collapse in front of the casket and I just want to be left alone here where I am and leave me alone, but not too much alone. I want to go home. I almost wish I took my best friend up on her offer of flying to meet with me on here in my place. She is a friend of a long time and a friend that we don't always understand and vice versatile, but here she is offering.