When I was new in my grief, I both gained and lost people. Some people who were former acquaintances showed up and became good friends. Some people who I thought were good friends disappeared entirely.
The one thing I didn’t expect was that I would have to remove some people from my life because they weren’t capable of providing support without worsening my grief.
In my case, this included people who:
- Minimized my loss
- Told me other people had it worse
- Used words like “at least”
- Tried to guilt me into doing what they wanted for me
- Told me I should be grateful for what I had and stop dwelling on what was lost. (I “lost” an entire human being!)
These things were hard for me. They were especially hard coming from people I thought were important to me. They created a set of circumstances in which it was hard for me to honor my child. They created a set of circumstances in which it was hard for me to breathe.
And then one day, I realized I didn’t have to keep them around any longer, and so I let them go.
And in so doing, I protected the memory of my child and the value of my grief.
Notes for the Bereaved:
You are under no obligation to keep anyone in your life for any reason.
You are allowed to protect your own peace.