Five Things 1,700 Grievers Have Taught Us | Part 2

# 1 – You Can Own, Take Charge, and Claim a Healthy Recovery

# 2 – RAW Honesty is an Absolute Necessity

The key word above is RAW — which is why it is in big letters — because it is a BIG, important word. RAW means it can hurt — being vulnerable and open scares most of us. Or I should say, it scares me.

I am trying to learn I cannot speak for others. But I am fairly certain you might get it.

RAW means this:

We had just begun a Spark of Life Grief Retreat. A young woman walks in with a heavy heart. Her 18-day-old daughter had died of SIDS a few months earlier. Her words still ring in this old heart to this day.

I am so pissed at God. In fact, I hate God. How could a loving God let my baby girl die!?”


Now that’s the kind of RAW I am talking about.

Years later, after hearing RAW honesty for years at our retreats, RAW came back to the banks of the Kenai River in Alaska, where we were hosting yet another Grief Retreat. A young couple had lost their 17-year-old daughter to suicide. She was a beautiful, smart, seemingly well-adjusted, and goal-oriented teenager about to embark on her college career.

We introduced this friend/enemy to them – RAW. The distraught mother illustrated RAW dramatically. She said this:

“Here’s the deal. If I died right now and was about to enter the ‘pearly gates,’ our daughter who took her life would run out to greet me and hug me. BUT I would not hug her or let her hug me until I told her how I feel. I would say, “Hold it right there, sister. I am so angry with you. How could you do this to your father and me and to your brother? How dare you!”

Now, that’s what I’m talking about.

Why is RAW an absolute necessity? Because those feelings are real, and if I am not safe to express real feelings, then I will stuff [my hurts], and all kinds of problems emerge from stuffing stuff.

‘Stuffing Stuff’ is not a good idea.

We have seen the power of RAW and the corresponding power of accepting someone else’s RAW — how it can affirm people, encourage people, and help them know it is OK to be real and that there is nothing wrong with having those emotions.

We encourage you to find someone or some group who can accept every bit of your “rawness.”

From RAW comes acceptance and comfort, and then a bit of light emerges, and before we know it — hope makes its rightful place.

At Spark of Life, there is always room for RAW and with it, HOPE.  

The final three points, to be discussed later, are:

# 3 – Gratitude, Daily Expressed, is Secret Sauce # 1

# 4 – Purpose, Which is Focused on Others, is Secret Sauce # 2

# 5 – There is Always Hope

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