Solitude is a potent healer. Men will tend to gravitate towards solitude and process their losses as they do. It is amazing to me that even though many of us use solitude on a regular basis it is not seen or recommended as a way of healing. It is very clear that the worlds greatest Spiritual leaders all sought and bathed in solitude. There is something obviously there that is helpful and yet in today’s world we rarely hear it suggested as a mode of healing. In fact, when I have seen men move towards solitude the reaction of those who close to them is usually that they are avoiding things and not dealing with their feelings! Go figure.
Find yourself a quiet creek with no one within a mile or two. Just sit there and watch the creek for 30 minutes, That’s it. Just be aware of your thoughts as you sit by the creek and just watch them go by just as the water is going by in the creek. If you don’t have a creek get your dog and your favorite easy chair. Get him up in your lap and sit there for 30 minutes. (St Bernard’s too, just get a big chair) Dogs know exactly what to do with solitude and they are more than happy to enjoy it together and even help you learn a bit!
Grief tends to need quiet and calm in order to surface and be processed. By finding solitude we are moving in that direction. Keep in mind that Jesus, like both Moses and Buddha, when in need, would head for the desert and spend long periods there by himself. I don’t remember Mary or Martha telling him he needed to join a support group and talk about things. No, they let him be and honored his intuitive wisdom. When supporting men today we need to take a lesson from them and honor the men we love by giving them the space to use solitude if that is their choice.