A Different Kind of Healing…
I have been thinking about healing.
We need to heal when we have a bruise, an open wound or a broken body part and of course, a broken heart. I have had each of these in my almost 50 years. I have been bruised, mended an open wound, broken my left elbow (twice, which could be a blog someday) and I live life with a broken heart. Each of them required a different technique(s) to obtain what one would call, healed.
Healing looks differently for a bruise, an open wound or a broken bone. The fact is, each of these could be seen visibly by others, while a broken heart is not typically visible. At the point of impact, when the heart is broken from a death, divorce, accident or illness, many in our circle of friends and coworkers know intuitively about our broken heart. They know we must be experiencing a pain and they hope for us that we can heal. They spring into action as prayers are offered, meals provided, cards written, hugs and tears are shared to offer comfort in the most human way.
Then, time passes. Life continues. The sun comes up again and again. Those of us with a broken heart are left to find our way through a maze of fog, discomfort, sadness, fear and more pain. There is no physical therapy for a broken heart.
Friends and family offer what comfort they know but the problem is they don’t really know the extent of the damage. Life may appear to be normal from the outside but the inside is still filled with a foggy brain, discomfort, sadness, fear and pain.
As a person who experienced all of this and with great magnitude, I might add, I was hesitant to admit how “out of it” I was in the months after losing Dad and Reat. The foggy brain is a true phenomenon.
Flashbacks to planning their funeral, writing Reat’s obituary and reliving fun life memories that were now justified as such – memories of life with Dad and Reat, would move me from the meeting I was in physically, to a place I could not seem to leave mentally.
I had a concoction of grief, anxiety, depression and fear all mixed together which gave me foggy brain.
When the murders occurred, I was the CEO of a firm I had co-founded. Even with these credentials, I had trouble verbalizing to my colleagues how I felt and what I needed to heal. If I had this trouble, then I feel confident all of us have this same problem finding the best resources to heal in the workplace. It is difficult to talk about sadness, our own or that of another.
I found this article on the cost of grief in the workplace. The study was completed in 2003! I can’t find a more recent study, perhaps I should implement one. From my personal experience of being in a position to dictate my work schedule, work day and work load…I still struggled to heal effectively in my workplace. The cost to my firm was minimal because we had a fantastic team in place to take over my responsibilities. When small and large firms don’t have such strategies in place, what is the cost? I believe it is higher than we like to consider.
The Faith Always Wins Foundation in partnership with Lisa K Cooper are creating resources to assist with healing in the workplace. Stay tuned – we are making ripples of healing.