Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Grief and Those "Helpful" Comments

That's my sister Kim.  She passed away more than two years ago, but it still hurts so much every single day.  I think about her all of the time.  I said to my husband once that I feel like if Kim lost me or our sister Juli or even Mom, she would be handling it better and be living a better, happier life than we are doing right now.  I feel like somehow she would manage to enjoy life and live each day to the fullest.  My husband said that's not necessarily true - we don't know how Kim would be handling this, really. 
I feel that I'm not doing as well as I should be.  It doesn't seem to get much easier.  I mean, we do go on and we do live our lives, but some of us will never be the same because of this loss.  Of course, Kim's son has it the worst.  How can a small child understand, when we adults can't?  Mom is also grieving hard, and hers is even worse than mine, I know.  I'm not really doing okay either.
Sometimes people will trot out their platitudes and say things like "time heals all things" or "God never gives you more than you can handle" or "it will get easier in time," and things like that.  These types of expressions never seem to help, and sometimes they even make a grieving person angry.  Here is a good link for things to not say to a grieving person.
Okay, I know it might sound judgmental or harsh to tell a person what not to say.  They might say that they are only trying to help, but are they really?  Sometimes people truly want to say something to comfort a person, but in my opinion, at other times they just want you to "get past it" so that they don't have to think about the uncomfortable topic of death, or so that they don't have to feel your pain.
I'm not saying that's the case with all people, of course.  Some people truly care and are truly trying to help you feel better.  I guess you'd know which type of person they are by the person you think they generally are.  Are they usually kind, caring, and sympathetic, or are they generally selfish and just wanting to talk about themselves?  Of course, they can also be caring people, but they just are uncomfortable talking or thinking about death (since it's a fearful thing for most of us). 
I'm lucky, in a way, because I don't spend time with too many people.  My mom is the one who gets these types of things said to her, and sometimes she gets angry about it. 
I'm just saying, try to be understanding of those who truly do mean well when they say these things, and possibly distance yourself a bit from those who are less sensitive individuals, if this is a time when you really need love and support.
For anyone who is grieving at this time, whether it be from a recent loss or one from many years ago, I just want to wish you peace and love.  I have had several recent serious losses so I do, in some way, understand how you feel even though no one can really feel the exact same things.
We all just try to go on and do our best.  Reach out to those who truly care, and try to find love and happiness wherever it is available, as you continue on without those you loved (and still do).