Grief is a lonely space to be in. Though there’s no comparison but just like religion, it’s a supremely personal thing. And though we go through the motions of expressing our condolences, I feel that there is an invisible, impenetrable wall around the bereaved. How do you reach out to them through that? The void that they are unable to comprehend, how do you even attempt to fill it?
What I do know is that on the road to acceptance goes through denial, anger and depression. How long every stage lasts, is very subjective. Some collect themselves admirably quickly and attempt to move on while some mope and take longer to exorcise themselves of the grief. Some keep it pent up and others are awash with tears.
Give them time to choose what they want to do and how they want to go about it. Never expect or force them to behave the way you would. I recently went to express my condolences somewhere. I could sense that the spouse wanted to talk about the loss but the ones around just didn’t want to. And their reason…. they didn’t want to upset him. Really?
I’m no good myself with grief’s etiquette myself. But I try to steer my way through it and my experience tells me that like in every situation, here too just be yourself. We can sympathise but empathy isn’t often possible. Don’t fake it.
Don’t make the bereaved walk through the morbid details of the loss. you don’t have to write a thesis on it. You ain’t any wiser and neither are they any less sad.
Be around trying to make yourself useful. There are thousand things that need to be taken care of. You will be remembered for that.
Respect the wishes of the dead and the living ones they have left behind. Do not judge either of them.
Grief never ends, it just shifts shapes. It’s the scab on the wound that allows skin’s healing underneath. It’s a passage not a place to stay. See to it that you or your loved one make this journey safely.
Be around. But do not hover around like those grief vultures who close in at the hint of a loss but were nowhere to be seen when they were truly needed?
I’m writing Bravely for the Write Tribe festival Of Words- March 2019 hosted by Write Tribe
I have used the word prompt ‘Grief’
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My previous posts for the Write Tribe Festival of Words- March 2019