Morning! How are you?
Morning! I’m fine thanks, you? …………………………………
(My dad/sister/friend/son/wife died last night/last week/last month/last year/3 years/10 years ago. Say something. Please. Just mention it. Ask me how I’m doing. I may cry. Don’t panic. I may not want to talk right now. That’s ok. I will let you know. And that’s ok.
But if you just asked I might be able to tell you.
Today, at this moment I’m doing fine. Yesterday, not so good, I thought I would dissolve into tears whenever I met somebody. But I didn’t get the chance to find out because nobody came near. As I’m pretty raw right now my hypersensitivity may be leading me to suspect that friends crossed the road when they saw me approaching. And the idea of that is much worse than the potential for tears, much worse. I want to spit. It’s not catching, you know! I’m not infectious!! Sadness. Anger. Isolation.
It’s like this: I had this person in my life, they are/were/ARE part of who I am and now I can’t see/talk/touch them and I miss them, and I feel broken.
I know, that’s really hard to hear and you can’t fix it. I’m not asking you to be superhuman. All I need is the human you to enter my world and try to understand my new reality. I’m in shock/angry/lonely/lost/…/…
And on top of this I have to go shopping/go to work/pick up the kids/cook dinner/get out of bed.
This grief thing, it’s like the weather. One minute I’m doing fine, normal, functioning. Then, a wind picks up, becomes a storm, knocks me over. I’m floored. Just as quickly it blows over, and then it’s gone. Another day; cloudy, a light breeze, a spot of drizzle. And then the sun comes out.
How do you feel? I can see you feel awkward talking to me. You are my friend/colleague/boss/brother and you can see it. You don’t want to be intrusive. You don’t want to make it worse. You don’t want to say the wrong thing. You can’t make it worse.
Use their name. They are dead but they have existed. Their presence in my/our lives is a reality. My relationship with them is not dead. The memories I have of them remain. The memories are painful, and they are joyful and I need your help to let me be with them.
Because now there are no new memories.
I don’t need you to help me get over my grief, I need you to help me live with it. You are wondering how to support me. Just ask.
My dad/sister/friend/son/wife died last night/last week/last month/last year/3 years/10 years ago.
You don’t know what to say. There are no words.
Just say something)……………………………………………
I’m doing ok, thanks.