Today's real talk is about...GRIEF. Happy Thursday everyone :)
Why am I writing about grief? Well, because we are a lifestyle brand and grief is something that affects all of our lives. Learning how to manage grief and help others through the process is something that is absolutely necessary. If grief is not dealt with properly, it can have lasting affects on relationships and the way we view our lives.
I feel somewhat like I can speak to this topic because I lost my 5 month old son, as a single mom, when I was just turning 20. It was horrifying, painful and a ton of other adjectives I'll spare you. I hope the pain of losing a child is something that you never come to understand. If you do, know that I recognize how strong you are for still standing, because it's the kind of pain that rips out your heart and makes it hard to even breathe. I'll definitely share my story with you someday. It may even become a book, you never know.
Today though, I am going to talk about all the craziness that gets said just after someone dies. People say the craziest things, well meaning, but crazy.
5 THINGS NOT TO SAY (in my opinion)
- "They are in a better place": - We've ALL said this. So don't feel horrible. I have even said it. I definitely think that there is a time and place for this sentiment, but right after the loss is NOT it. Here's the thing. They may be in a better place and that is great, BUT the person who just suffered the loss is not. They hurt. They are still here without their loved one. Logical statements aren't the best thing right now, in this seriously emotional situation.
- "God wanted another flower for his garden and so he picked (insert name here) to be in his garden."- I think I understand this statement somewhat, but I don't think it helps. Here's why. In my case, the person who had died was my son, he wasn't a flower and what kind of God, decides well you have your son, but I want him in my garden, so I'm taking him back? It sounds nice at first blush, but in reality this depicts a really selfish God and that doesn't seem like very good consolation.
- "It's better this way" - Are you kidding me? Don't say that. Just don't. You may think it...perhaps it could be true. BUT DO NOT SAY THIS!!!!!!!
- "Just think of all the people you can help now." - Grief is a journey that takes time. There are definite steps that need to be taken in order for the person to get there. Allow the person the opportunity to feel their pain, before pushing them to become a crutch for someone else to lean on. I learned this the hard way. I jumped back into life, by taking on a job I wasn't qualified for, starting a new workout routine, taking night courses at University and partying my brains out trying to avoid the pain. It didn't work. It wasn't until I stopped and breathed and felt what I needed to feel and said the things I needed to say and do the things I needed to do to in order to move ahead that the tide turned and I started to feel like myself again.
- "If you need anything, I'm here" - Most people dealing with grief aren't going to call you and say, "I can't get out of bed. I feel guilty if I even get up, shower and do my makeup because how can I be normal when I just lost someone? What I need right now is for you to show up, hug me, make me coffee and sit with me." They aren't going to do that. So you need to make good on that statement, if you are going to say it. Buy them a journal. Call them and ask them if you can come over. Set up a coffee date. Write them a letter. One of the best things that happened to me was the nurse who was assigned to my son, sent me a book called "Lament for my Son" one month after his funeral. She knew that by then all the flowers would have withered and the calls would have stopped and the looks of sympathy would be changing to looks of concern for how am I getting on with my life. I sat on my couch and read the whole book and felt loved and remembered. It made a massive impact on my sanity that day.
If you've said any of these things, don't feel bad. I have said them too. I know the situation is super awkward, and we were meaning well, but when you know better you do better. As in any situation in life, it's not really ever about what you say, it's more about what you do. Hug them, don't be afraid of the silence. Sometimes silence truly is golden.
I'd love to hear what you think? Did anyone ever say these things to you? Have you said them, and now you're pissed at me? Did I miss one? Let me know.
Have an amazing day & keep standing for freedom.