Good Grief

Going through the loss of a loved one can be a confusing time for the person grieving as well as friends and family. Quite often, people don’t know what to say or do for someone who is grieving. Friends and acquaintances may feel awkward and think that it’s best to avoid the grieving person, so as to give them space to process their emotions.

In my experience, nothing could be further from the truth. When I was grieving, I appreciated every kind word, and I accepted people’s offers to help. One of the best things we can do to help someone who is grieving is to just go ahead and do something to help them. Don’t just say, ‘Let me know if you need anything’, but help them with their chores and getting organized – take action. When we are in a state of grief, we often can’t think clearly and focus on things that need to get done.

Another awkward concept revolves around what the right amount of time is to grieve. Sometimes, friends and family are tired of the sadness or depression they see in the person who is grieving. They don’t know what to do to cheer the person up and may try to be encouraging by saying, ‘It’s time to get over it and move on’. While this may make the friends and family members feel better, it doesn’t help the grieving person to push them through the process. Everyone grieves at their own pace, and there is no time limit to that.

But, what is grief, really? I would say grief is having so much love for someone who is no longer physically present and not knowing where to go with it. One way of honoring a crossed-over loved one is to spend time supporting something that they loved to do in life; for example, if the person was a painter, maybe the grieving person can help another artist in some way, or if the loved one was an avid surfer, the grieving person could donate time or money to a non-profit organization that supports surfers. In this way, the grieving person is honoring the one who has crossed-over, and the love that is bursting from the grieving person’s heart has a place to go.

--Erika Marie Rose © 2020