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Bearing Witness


The legal definition of bearing witness means to attest to something that is true. If you are called to court to testify, you bear witness to the truth of what you saw or what you know.

If someone is telling you their story of loss, they are bearing witness to you about the truth of their suffering. And you in turn are bearing witness to that truth by receiving their story. Bearing witness is not fixing the pain. It is holding the pain. Bearing witness is not trying to make someone who is grieving feel better. It is entering into their experience with them, whatever that experience may be. Bearing witness is not leading the one in pain. It is standing next to them in the sacred space of their suffering.

You will be called to bear witness. It may be your friend, neighbor or coworker who needs you to receive the truth of their story. In this last week we have been called to bear witness as a nation to the suffering that has occurred in other communities. It is an act of respect, compassion and love to attest to the truth of the pain for those who grieve.

CLICK HERE to purchase a copy of my book “Getting Grief Right.”


Getting Grief Right

by Dr. Patrick O'Malley

A masterpiece that will touch your heart and soul with healing powers. • A compassionate, wise, and practical guide • A must read for anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one.


Grief Therapist

Dr. Patrick O’Malley is a psychotherapist in Fort Worth, Texas, who specializes in grief counseling. For 40 years, he has counseled individuals, couples and families
in his private practice.


Getting Grief Right

by Dr. Patrick O'Malley

By the time Mary came to see me, six months after losing her daughter to sudden infant death syndrome, she had hired and fired two other therapists. She was trying to get her grief right...

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