The Grace of Sharing Grief

A funny thing happened when I reached out to friends for help with this loss.  They shared their grief with me and gave me permission to share it with others.  For those not grieving or with other perspectives, they shared too.  I am grateful.

Below and over the next few posts you will see my original email and then the collection of responses I received from several of you. I also pulled out some responses from a similar thread that was started in the Georgetown Leadership Coaching community. Those will come toward the end of this series. Per one wise woman’s suggestion, I am numbering the email responses below (I did promise confidentiality so I’m not including names). That way if you want to comment on any particular email, you only have to refer to an email number.

I know this is raw for many of us and will continue to be so for some time. Mourning is a process that takes time. One thing that such a divisive campaign can lead to is polarization. A candidate is all right or all wrong. He/she is great for the country or awful for the country. Our strong feelings lead us to opposite poles and any suggestion of compromise or taking good with the bad feels like salt in an open wound.

So for some of you, there are a few responses here that do provide an alternative look at the issue(s). I encourage you to breathe deeply, perhaps get a glass of wine, and try to read with a compassionate and open mind. I love you all and appreciate the thoughtful responses, perspectives and suggestions for the way forward.

I added my two cents and that perspective will come at the very end of the series, after the wonderful Richard Rohr quote that one of you graciously sent to me.
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(Original email)
Hello Ladies,

I have blind copied about 18 women on this email because I truly do want your perspectives on how this election outcome just happened. I think you’ll just have the option to reply to me and so, again, it keeps your identity confidential. If you want me to share your thoughts with the rest of the group, I can certainly do that….but, I am truly looking for perspective on this.

I know some of you, like myself, are registered Republicans. Some of you may have even voted for Donald Trump. I am sincerely not looking to cast blame…I am looking for thoughts, ideas, and understanding. I am not even listening to the news reports any more because they clearly didn’t have a sound understanding of the country’s sentiment and what the Donald Trump candidacy meant to the voters in our country.

I’m also looking for a way to move forward that honors my own values and respects the values of others. In other words, I truly still believe in civility through this process. I think cooler heads are going to need to prevail.

Thank you in advance for your wisdom and thoughts. I value each and every one of you and that’s why I’m asking.

Peace and blessings to you all! God bless the United States of America.
Bev

Here are the different responses I have received thus far:

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#1
Bev

I wish I could help you understand my friend, but today I feel rattled to my core. The last time I felt this stressed about the world was 9-11.
I literally sit here trying to preserve my personal sense of center and lessen my stress and deep feeling of disappointment in people. We can not control or even really know what is ahead of us so I have decided to assume the best and not the worst. What he does will not change who I am or how I plan to treat others. We need to support each other and hold tight for what be a rocky ride. We are America as a collective, America is not one person, so together we can be strong, divided we will struggle.
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#2
Hi Bev,

How are you feeling?

Oh Bev. My children are heartbroken. It is their future we have compromised in fear (of difference) and bitterness (and I truly believe, misogyny). I want to hope that somehow people will rally to support Trump and help him to do the right things in terms of the well-being of humans in our country. For sure we must stick together. I am trying to go high, as Michelle Obama counseled. The supreme court appointments, the energy industry…we all need to pray for Trump to have some sort of perspective and wisdom which he seems to greatly lack. Change is one thing, but this feels kamikaze. I am very uncomfortable at the moment, but I trust we will rebound. I hope the destruction is limited.

I will work to focus on gratitude, integrity, using my voice to protect and heal to the best of my ability. Maybe I shouldn’t be responding so soon but this is how I feel now.
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#3
Well Bev. . . You know that I struggled on how to vote and did so up until I voted and even after. It was one of the few times in my life when I didn’t know what was the right thing to do. I believe the people spoke very loudly that they wanted change (even willing to overlook “all” his faults), didn’t want a “career” politician with status quo continuing and some may have voted for what they thought was the lesser of the two evils. Will we ever truly know?? Major wakeup call for Washington and our overly liberal media.

Economics/finance is always my go to for voting purposes, but did extend my voting thought process due to a bi-partisan article I recently read, which did not tell you who to vote for (believe it or not), but stated that you should look at the candidates on their policies (overlook who they are), because they will dictate who will be on the supreme court and the direction of our country for the next 20/30 years or more. Gave details on the aging of the Supreme Court, etc. and stated that this was a much bigger issue than a 4 year term president.

My thoughts are, we are a great, strong and resilient country that will survive this presidency. Sort of like family, we may fight amongst ourselves, but an outside party says or does something and we have each other’s backs. I hope, pray and am trying to believe (based on him being a successful businessman) that he will surround himself with competent, knowledgeable people that will help guide him through the next four years. While I may not like The Donald as our president, I love the USA and will support my country and their leadership.

My true thought is: BALL IS IN YOUR COURT DONALD TRUMP

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#4
Hi Bev,

What a thoughtful email. I rallied my little team this morning as they are shocked and frightened. We talked about the power of social media and the anonymity it provides that allow people to say hateful, racists, bigoted statements.

But to your bigger question of how do we move forward, I really feel like it is time for all of us to stand up to hateful speech and to put out our own messages of hope and faith instead of just turning our heads and ignoring it. I also think we all need to communicate more with our politicians so that they do not operate in a bubble but understand more.

Thanks for asking. I look forward to all the answers you receive. I hope you will post them in your blog which I used as an example of positive, powerful speech!

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#5
God help us

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#6
Hey Bev, I am baffled. Pretty much speechless. I’m trying to find the positive but unable right now. How did we get here? My refuge is always prayer. There are just somethings that only God can fix. God help us all!!!

Sorrowfully submitted and your friend,

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#7
Thought I’d send this along to you as we grasp for a way to comprehend and respond (forwarded email from a close family member):

To some family and friends: attached are some examples of grace in politics — the very model of humility and faith operating in public arena. The country is going to need a lot of this, coming from all corners.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/442008/may-god-bless-president-trump

 

More in the next few days.  Peace be with you.

 

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Beverly

Learning is my passion and life is my classroom of lessons I experience along the way.

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