When death strikes someone you dearly love, your existence from that point on is never the same. Their demise shakes you to the core. It changes your perspective on so many things. For starters, you stop sweating the small stuff 😊.
Losing my dad in March 2019, felt like losing a limb…so there was pain – and boy is it painful 😬 like literal tenderness of the heart where you need pain killers/paracetamol – and then there’s the loss of the limb. The pain doesn’t linger too long, but the loss is a constant reminder. My friend, my no.1 cheerleader, my confidant, my advisor, my righthand man, my dad was no more! Life spinned towards learning to move forward without that limb that I’d lost. It felt like trying to find balance on one leg, or hold something with one hand, or dribble a ball straight having only one eye – adjusting called for a whole lot of leveling up.
Life spinned towards accepting that our journey was complete, introduction of new ways of thinking, celebrating good days, undoing the connection [gulp] and of course recovery…travel, new hobbies, etc.
Sadly, because it’s all new, it’s all so hard, and failure rate is high if one is without good support. Because grief is so intense, I highly recommend grief therapy with a professional therapist to enable you to lean into grief detangle the ball of emotions and step into the new normal.
What to do while around a grieving person:
Many well-meaning people say meaningless, inappropriate and insensitive stuff to grieving persons. I don’t blame them because they are unaware of what to say, and right there lies the problem!!! In my experience, one really does not have to say anything. A LOT OF TIMES, silence is what’s required. So, here’s a few musings from my grieving experience, to anyone who wonders what to do with a person who’s grieving…
- Hold them, hug them tight, let them cry as much as they need to, allow them to vent out their frustrations.
- NEVER, I repeat, NEVER tell them that it is well or that it’s God’s will!!! In this season, many have their faith shaken to the core and are questioning God… and that is OK.
- NEVER tell them that you know how it feels… because you simply don’t!!! Everyone grieves uniquely.
- Be calm and non-judgmental.
- Use direct and specific language (places, names, etc) to help reorient them from the blur of grief… I tell you everything becomes blurry.
- Allow them to express their emotions.
- When they want to talk about their lost loved one, do not change the subject to a lighter topic. Engage them.
- Take conversation cues from them. Remember SILENCE is OK .
- *DO NOT* tell a grieving lady how good she looks to avoid talking about her bad she feels.
- One more thing… Ask the grieving person how you can be of assistance and support them. Often times, observe what would brighten their day, and serve accordingly.
It calls for wisdom…lots of wisdom!