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Tag Archives: Mourning

when I think of death_maya angelou.jpg

Everyone who has ever lost someone that they loved deeply has a story.  Details may sound the same, and, we who have had that same experience, can recognize them.  Our empathic natures mean we can see the pain exposed, as well as hidden, because we have had our hearts broken.

But, while we can empathize with a gentle touch, or a nod of the head, a hug, or the gift of listening, we cannot rush someone else.  We cannot say “Life goes on” or trite comments meant to shortchange the depth of grief.  In the madness of mourning, it is cruel and meaningless.

This is not a time of rational thought.  It is brutal.  It is beyond imagination.  Those who seek to minimize it know nothing of the person, the great footprint that they leave behind, nor how we cannot mentally process how time can keep on moving.

Let someone else grieve in their own time and way.  Do not put limits or expectations upon them that you yourself could never match, or have never actually been tested upon. It should not be the intent to listen so that one can relate their own history.  Genuine empathy means that each person has their own story and deserves the time and space to relate it.  Even as the details tear them apart, we are witnesses to that pain, and support, quietly, that which is beyond our comprehension.

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Thank you for stopping by.  I have many thoughts that have gone through my mind, but hesitated to write.  I have wondered if sharing my ideas meant that I would be adding to the overflow of messages we quickly sift through each day.  But, I am trying to be brave.

So, for the month of December, I thought I would try to create booster shots of empathy for the many topics that cross my thoughts and stir my emotions.  I hope that you will be patient; if you don’t like one, perhaps another will be the right dose to help you, or someone else, who needs a little extra attention.  Either way, please feel free to share, because I would love to hear what you have to say when it is the right time for you to join in.

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saying someone cant be sad because someone else has it better

To anyone who has suffered a loss of self – a job, a loved one, an estrangement, a broken heart, wrenching illness, pain, or the million other tragedies that occur out of our control – this is a most difficult season.

I am not minimizing the loving family images, or the stirrings of home and hearth, that they elicit. But, in the season of comparisons, we feel incomplete.

We want the fantasy; the cozy fire glowing and reflecting the lights and sparkle of holidays sets us dreaming.

However, this is the season of comparison.

To those who still continue to grieve, or have just begun, regardless of the length of time, our mourning has no expiration date. Seeing all those happy shiny faces is a stark reminder of what, and whom, we have lost. The family traditions and holiday overload can be painful knowing our hearts will never be quite healed and that there are certain times that can accentuate the particular pain and loss that is being endured. It is hard to remember that you are not alone and that not everyone has a perfect life behind the facade.

We are thankful and acknowledge our gratitude and appreciation. Yet, we are also quite aware that we are no longer the same person in the “new normal.” For someone else to suggest that we don’t deserve to acknowledge our sadness, loss, and sorrow, is a selfish and gratuitous remark; like all of the other platitudes such as “Life goes on” and “You are still grieving?!” Remember, these comments are a lack of empathy on someone else’s part and do not represent a failing in you. You deserve to take as much time as you need to mourn your respective loss.

Sometimes, the best we can hope for is a kind friend. Grief and heartache are individual, and too delicate, to place in the hands of those who cannot understand for they have never walked the journey.

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Thank you for stopping by! I hope that you enjoy your visit.
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grieving thanksgiving turkey

May you and your loved ones have much to celebrate today and every day!

(and thanks to Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and her wonderful research http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabeth_K%C3%BCbler-Ross )

Bad Signal
Someone’s left you a voicemail message, but all you can make out are the last words: “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you months ago. Bye.” Who is it from, and what is this about?

Bad Signal

blurry hearts

Uncle Aaron passed away. Eva died of cancer. Uncle Jack is in the hospital. Elaine’s father died. I thought you knew. We did not want to upset you more.

People presume to know how much I can handle and how much I care. I have had losses that have hurt. Sadly, there have been quite a few in a fairly short amount of time. I prefer the truth and my opportunity to process and mourn in my own way at the right time. If I do not know, I cannot offer my condolences to a family member. Because of your misguided attempt at kindness, I did not give my condolences to his daughter. Now, she will always remember that we did nothing while she felt most alone and bereft.

This is not casual information. These people lived, made an impression on my heart, and are a part of my life’s history. Please don’t pretend that it never happened or act like it should not be that important to me. You may prefer to let time pass or act like it was no big deal. Now I will be mourning on my own and grieving a loss that others already shared.

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