Heard at Last
This story is about a nine-year-old girl, Brianna, and the time she felt heard by John James, the author of the book – When Children Grieve.
John had been invited to use his experience with a well-known producer and a well-known director in a film project they were doing. they met at a restaurant high in the hills above Los Angeles. John arrive first, the director net, and finally the producer.
The producer was accompanied by his nine-year-old granddaughter, Brianna. When they arrived at the table, the producer explained, somewhat regretfully, that he was baby-sitting that day and he apologized for the young girl’s presence at the meeting. The consulting portion of the meeting took only about a half-hour. Then the director and producer moved to a nearby table to discuss what they had just learned.
John and Brainna began to chat.
In a very short period of time, Brianna decided that it was safe to talk about feelings with John. Seemly out of the blue, and in a very serious manner, she stated, “Mr. James, you know I’ve had a very hard life.” Rather than smile condescendingly, John asked, “What has happened?” Brianna began to tell her story. “My other grandpa died. we had to move from New Jersey to California; and I had to leave all my friends, and I don’t want to make new ones. And my cat, that I’ve had all my life, ran away.”
Remember Brianna’s opening statement?
“Mr. James, you know I’ve had a very hard life.”
Had Brianna had a very hard life? Most would answer that, yes, she’s had a pretty hard time. In truth, though, her story is fairly typical. For a nine-year-old to have a grandparent die, to experience a move that entails leaving friends and starting in a new school, and to lose a pet, is not unusual. So if the circumstances of her life were not unusual, what it made it seem to her that she has had “a very hard life”? What made it seem like such a hard life to our little girl was that she could not seem to find anyone who would listen to her. No one could hear her cries for help. No one had heard and responded helpfully to her feelings about the events.
During the conversation John learned that this failure to be heard was not from lack of trying on Briana’s part. She had tried to talk about her feeling concerning the changes in her life quite a few times during the first couple of months following all of the upheaval. But every response she got in reply was intellectual in nature, or was preceded by the typical comment “Don’t feel bad.” Everyone, it seems had tried to fix her head by explaining the facts of the situation. But he understood the facts. her head wasn’t broken – her heart was.
When she heard John talking to her grandfather and the other man about dealing with loss, she realized that John might be the “listener” she needed. So Brianna’s comment, “I’ve had a very hard life,” wasn’t out of the blue. It was the result of observing that John talked openly about sad things.
From the book. . When Children Grieve written by John W James and Russell Friedman with Dr. Leslie Landon Matthews
There is help . .
If you are interested in participating in the Renew Your Possibility – As Children Grieve 6 week Study group, sign up here.
This is a complimentary study group that will provide you some incredibly valuable safety tips and tools that you will be able to use for the rest of your life and your children’s lives. I guarantee it.
Or, if you are not ready to take that step, purchase the book “When Children Grieve here . .
Or download one of the ebooks under the resources page and read up on grief.
Another option is to Schedule a 15 minute complimentary call to share what your experiencing so you can ask me questions.
Just take that first step. Do something that you have not done before. It’s ok, that your not ok, yet please don’t stay stuck in grief. There is light on the other side.
Remember, “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” Plato
Yours in Gratitude and to Renewing Your Possibility. . .
Debbie Your Grief Recovery Specialist®