Sometimes bad things happen. We don’t like to think about it, but they do. And focusing only on the happy endings isn’t helpful for anyone.
power of authenticity
If you truly want to support someone who feels guilt, fault, or blame after the death of their child, then listen, acknowledge, and mirror back to them. This is so much more powerful and authentic than any glib phrase. Please don’t tell them “It wasn’t your fault”
“He wouldn’t want you to be sad”—This is ridiculously untrue. Instead of telling the bereaved how to feel, or worse yet, speaking for the deceased, consider honoring both the life and the grief. Like any other authentic emotion, it is ALWAYS okay to be sad, especially after a death.
Simply telling someone not to feel a certain way will never have the desired result. Instead, ask questions about their feelings. Acknowledge and understand without trying to change.
When I was new in my grief, there were a number of situations where people said or did something and I wanted to respond, but I just didn’t have the words. Now that I am further out, I have put together a set of potential scripts to use in these situations.
Sometimes, no matter how hard we look, there is genuinely nothing to be thankful for. That’s not a failing in our perception; it’s just life.
I’ve been running into a trend recently when I talk about Adrian’s death, especially when I share more “uncomfortable” feelings such as anger or regret. People seem to feel like they need to urge me to find peace or to otherwise feel differently. I wish more people understood the power in authenticity; in feeling whatever and however one needs.
I never really considered that question, “How are you?” until after the death of my son. And then it became the bane of my day. Please don’t ask me how I’m doing unless you’re prepared to hear the truth
Life is full of choices, and we aren’t required to all choose the same way. It can still be hard sometimes, to lose the option of choice. This is still grief.
“Positive vibes only” sounds like a great message, but it unfortunately acts as erasure of the full emotional spectrum. Authenticity is always preferable.
It feels like we are conditioned to look on the bright side of every dark situation, but sometimes there isn’t one. Sometimes, things just need to suck
When someone you love is in pain, it’s natural to want to comfort them; to reassure them that everything will be okay. Unfortunately, when you are dealing with permanent changes like death, sometimes this simply isn’t the case.