We have been very busy with moving and school and kids. Someone made the comment to me – “it is good you are staying so busy. It helps you not think about Drake.” Those words slammed through my head like a freight train. I wanted to scream “Are you kidding me?” (people just don’t think before they speak sometimes..) I not only can NOT think about Drake, I wouldn’t want to be able to not think about him. He is my son. Not was. Is. He will always be my son and I will always be his mommy. Thinking about him is as natural as breathing. Please think before you speak or text or post..
Every first time is the hardest time – seems like every day there are plenty of first times..
And yes, I like to talk about Drake and I like it when other people talk about Drake. Some days are bad days and some days are worse. If you see or hear me grieving and are compelled to say something, “I’m sorry” is about the only thing you can say.
Don’t let discomfort prevent you from reaching out to someone who is grieving. Now, more than ever, your support is needed. You might not know exactly what to say or what to do, but that’s okay. You don’t need to have answers or give advice. The most important thing you can do for a grieving person is to simply be there. Your support and caring presence will help them cope. If it’s difficult and uncomfortable for you to see a person grieve, you can only imagine what it feels like to be them. And only imagine is exactly right.
I know it’s extremely difficult to know what to say to a grieving person or even a person going through the trauma of their child having to deal with cancer, but I can tell you what not to say..
“I know how you feel.” One can never know how another may feel. You could, instead, ask your friend to tell you how he or she feels.
“It’s part of God’s plan.” This phrase can make people angry and they often respond with, “What plan? Nobody told me about any plan.”
“Look at what you have to be thankful for.” They know they have things to be thankful for, but right now they are not important, not as important as their loss.
“He’s in a better place now.” The bereaved may or may not believe this. Keep your beliefs to yourself unless asked.
“This is behind you now; it’s time to get on with your life.” Sometimes the bereaved are resistant to getting on with life because they feel this means “forgetting” their loved one. In addition, moving on is easier said than done. Grief has a mind of its own and works at its own pace.
Statements that begin with “You should” or “You will.” These statements are too directive. Instead you could begin your comments with: “Have you thought about. . .” or “You might. . .”
If it is difficult and uncomfortable for you to see a person grieve, you can only imagine what it feels like to be them. And only imagine is exactly right. Our life will never be the same.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.