While grief is fresh, every effort to divert irritates. You must wait till it be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.
- It is unfair to compare and judge the length and depth of how one grieves with how another grieves. One friend was devastated for several years by her miscarriage and did not want to be around babies at all for a few years. Another friend processed the same loss more quickly and did not have the same reaction to newborns. Neither friend did it "right" or did it "wrong". They just felt the effects of death differently.
- Think before you speak. I have heard an amazing amount of thoughtless remarks addressed to grieving people. If you don't know what to say, try, "I'm so sorry."
- Offer practical and specific help. Saying, "Call if you need anything," is kind, but saying, "Can I mow your lawn and bring you dinner next Monday?" is more tangible. It is difficult to think clearly during the fog of fresh grief, and impossible to think about what that "anything you might need" could be.
- Sometimes just being present is enough. You do not need to offer solutions, explanations, suggestions or even comforting words. Sitting quietly together and being willing to listen is all you have to do.
Welcome to the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge 2013. I'm aiming for short, entertaining and occasionally insightful posts. Topics addressing transitions are the goal . . . but we'll see.