What do I say? Dealing with others' grief

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
greifThis morning, I read an article in Still Standing written by Paul, a BLD (baby loss dad), that resonated with me. As the grieving parents you would imagine the last thing we would worry about would be making others around us uncomfortable. Of course, we know that family and friends don't know exactly what to say. There's the typical "It was for the best" or "God always has a plan" or "It just wasn't meant to be" types of comments and then there's the awkward hugs and even the silent treatment. Better to just say nothing, right? I even had someone look me in the face while I sat in that horrid hospital bed and tell me she couldn't imagine her life without her kids. This went on for what seemed like hours. YEAH? Well, me either! Thanks.

Unfortunately, I didn't want to make others feel uncomfortable around me. I didn't want them to look at me with pity. So, I lied. I've lied lots of times over the past couple of years. "I'm fine," I'd say. "I'm moving forward," I'd say. "It's getting easier," I'd say. When in fact, all those lines were nothing more than little white lies. Yes, I'm better. Yes, I'm still putting one foot in front of the other. Yes, it does get easier to manage that hurt inside, but is it 100% factual? No.

Paul challenges us to look at it from the other side, from our friends and family's perspectives. It was a long time before I could do that. I couldn't imagine anyone else hurting like I was. When I allowed myself to see through their eyes - the eyes of an aunt, a mom, a friend - my heart broke all over again. If it had been one of my sisters in my situation, I'd be devastated, heartbroken, miserable. It changed the way I looked at everyone around me, especially those that stood by my side when they didn't have to do so.

Even though it may seem strange, if you've been where I am, I agree with Paul and challenge you to take some time (when you're ready) and try to see your grief from another's perspective. You might just realize, like me, what a great support system you really have.

2 comments

  1. nicely written Kerry. I also found his post eye opening

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  2. Sometimes we all feel so alone in our grief (whatever the cause of that grief may be). It can be hard to look around and really see how others are hurting, and that we can be support for each other. Thank you for this reminder.

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