In my second conversation with Andrew Bauman, we engage the whole question of “What does it mean to actually grieve?” If you enjoy my conversation with Andrew, you may want to either pickup a copy of his forthcoming book called Stumbling Toward Wholeness or spend 37 minutes watching his beautiful film A Brave Lament which is also available on Amazon. We talk about both the book and the film today.

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How to Write a Story
The Big Six: What Every Child Needs From Their Parents
Attachment: What It Is and Why It Matters

Show Notes

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The wailing of broken hearts is the doorway to God. Rumi
How do we accompany those who are grieving and hurting?
I don’t want to be fixed, I want to be known.
Sadness does not sink a person; it is the energy a person spends trying to avoid sadness that does that. Barbara Brown Taylor
Contempt covers over longing. It’s a way of keeping desire at bay. Adam
Blessing the younger boy means saying, “your desire and need and longing for a father was actually a really good longing.”
You can pre-order the book here. (link:
Creating rituals for our loss. We must mark our losses. We mark them because they matter.
Grieving with a group of friends. Refusing to keep our grief hidden.
To grieve with another is to let yourself die.
We tend to feel like, “If I start crying, I’ll never stop.”
Can I welcome the part of me that is in anguish for a short period today?
Engaging yourself with kindness.
The temptation is to hate how much we longed for a father and mother as a child. And longing is a good thing.
“Grief always exposes who we are. It’s a magnifying glass that enlarges our greatest failings, our fullest glory, and who we are meant to be.” Andrew Bauman in Stumbling Toward Wholeness
One of the most touching moments of the film and frankly one of the hardest parts to watch is the footage from Brave’s memorial service… you’re on the ground weeping and you keep reaching your arm up and touching his white casket.
Can we talk about the reach? There’s something so fundamentally human about that reach. And so agonizingly vulnerable.
Poem about what you needed in the midst of deep grief. One of the lines in that poem says,
Just touch me. Will you hold my hand? Though it’s cold and bony, will you embrace me tightly?
Can you wail as I wail, curse as I curse, pray as I pray? I don’t want to be fixed; I want to be known. I want your presence kneeling by my bed, feeling useless, powerless, helpless. Yes, for then, for then, you will understand a small part of me that few have had the courage to know.
I recognize this will cost you greatly, but deep down I will learn my worth from the measure of your sacrifice.
Letting Our Pain Be Seen
If we can give ourselves permission to grieve, then daring, devoted friends will show up. If those people do not show up in your time of need, ask yourself if you are allowing your brokenness to be seen or only breaking in isolation.
I can imagine someone saying, “But when I’ve let some of my friends into a portion of my pain they didn’t know what to do with me and I felt more alone than ever.”
Engaging Kindness
What does it mean practically to bless our younger selves?
The story about reconnecting with your father after six years. He’s very sick at this point.
My contempt had blocked my desire for my father, but now I could not hold my longing in. Contempt covers over shame, yes. But far more it covers over longing. It is a way of keeping desire at bay.

For help with engaging your story in a group setting, consider the Allender Center’s Certificate Program.

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