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Companioning the Bereaved

I had the privilege of attending a grief seminar put on by Alan Wolfelt. I wanted to share his 11 tenants of companioning the bereaved that I found to be profound teachings:

  • Companioning is about honoring the spirit; it is not about focusing on intellect.

  • Companioning is about curiosity; it is not about expertise.

  • Companioning is about learning from others, it is not about teaching.

  • Companioning is about walking alongside; it is not about leading or being led.

  • Companioning is about being still; it is not about frantic movement forward.

  • Companioning is about discovering the gifts of sacred silence it is not about a f

illing every painful moment with talk.

  • Companioning is about listening with the heart. It is not about analyzing with the head.

  • Companioning is about bearing witness to the struggles of others; it is not about judging or directing those struggles.

  • Companioning is about being present to another person’s pain; it is not about taking away or relieving the pain.

  • Companioning is about respecting disorder and confusion; it is not about imposing order and logic.

  • Companioning is about going to the wilderness of the soul with another human being; it is not about thinking you are responsible for finding the way out.

If we are going to come alongside those who are mourning, these principals are critical in their healing process.

  • For more articles by Alan Wolfelt visit

beauty girl cry.jpg

#griefsupport #copingwithloss #companioningthemourner #alanwolfelt

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