Grief – Don’t Tell Me That You Understand

grief angel“The heart knows its own bitterness,
And a stranger does not share its joy.” — Proverbs 14:10, New King James Version

My cousin Deanna shared the poem below with me, a poem that movingly expresses the wisdom of Proverbs 14:10.  I can so relate to both the words of this Proverb and of this poem.  So often during my experience of grief people around me dictated how I should feel or deal with my pain.

That hurts me so badly, especially early on into facing into the loss of my wife.  Far more people are loving, understanding.  And even some who say hurtful things mean well, but simply don’t get what I am experiencing.  These words reflect that raw pain such insensitive words brought me early on.

May they give words to your grief, you that grieve.  May it help those untouched by grief to better understand those grieving around them.


griefDon’t tell me that you understand

Don’t tell me that you know,
Don’t tell me that I will survive
Or how I will surely grow.

Don’t tell me that this is just a test
That I am truly blessed
That I am chosen for this task
Apart from all the rest.

Don’t come at me with answers
That can only come from me,
Don’t tell me how my grief will pass,
That I will soon be free.

Don’t stand in pious judgment
Of the bounds I must untie,
Don’t tell me how to suffer
And don’t tell me how to cry!

My life is filled with selfishness,
My pain is all I see,
friendsBut, I need you now,
I need your love, unconditionally.

Accept me in my ups and downs,
I need someone to share,
Just hold my hand and let me cry,
And say, “My friend, I care.”

By Joanetta Hendel


3 thoughts on “Grief – Don’t Tell Me That You Understand

  1. Pixie Wildflower says:


  2. Janet L. Flowers says:

    Wise words. It is so hard for us as humans to not “fix things.” One insight I learned in hospice training was not to hand over a Kleenex too quickly as it signaled to the person that they should stop crying. I had not thought of that before. Thanks for sharing your journey, Micah. It is very instructive for the rest of us.

  3. wetfeetministry says:

    Beautiful post! I really enjoy reading your thoughts and poems. You are doing such a great and important job!

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