"Everything happens for a reason."
Here's the reality: As my mentor Megan Devine has so beautifully said: 'Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.'
But loss has not in and of itself made me a better person. In fact, in some ways it's hardened me.
By unleashing platitudes and "fixes" on those we claim to love, we deny them the right to grieve.:
I think people tell others to take responsibility when they don't want to understand.
Personal responsibility implies that there's something to take responsibility for. You don't take responsibility for being raped or losing your child. You take responsibility for how you choose to live in the wake of the horrors that confront you, but you don't choose whether you grieve. We're not that smart or powerful. When hell visits us, we don't get to escape grieving.
The irony is that the only thing that even can be "responsible" amid loss is grieving.
Healing and transformation can occur. But not if you're not allowed to grieve. Because grief itself is not an obstacle.
So what do we offer instead of "everything happens for a reason"?
There is no greater act for others than acknowledgment.
I acknowledge your pain. I'm here with you.