Grief Needs Patience
Updated: Feb 7, 2020
Grief is such an innocent word, when viewed in books or blogs. It’s just five letters, guileless when seen - but not felt. I’ve experienced grief before: a beloved dog, too many friends at too young an age, family members. But I’ve never experienced the pain of grief as much as I have now, having lost my father. You can’t even hope to explain to someone what a horrific void is now present in your daily life. How exhausting it is to keep going when the person you’ve looked up to since you were a child is simply gone.
This is my message today: be patient with those who are grieving. We are trying. I know that sometimes we go on about the memories of the person we’ve lost. We will rage at the heavens and pummel our hands against the steering wall while tears stream down our face. We question the truth of a divine being, wondering aloud about life and its twists and turns, its evil and good, its beauty and its tragedies. We are too much, and we know it. Thank you for being there for us in our pain. We have lost our father, or our soulmate, or our sister, or our best friend.
Let us vent.
Be the shoulder we can cry on.
Listen to the same song we’ve been listening to for weeks on end, because it reminds us of them.
Please don’t tell us that “everything happens for a reason.”
Don’t say that it’s “part of God’s plan.”
Don’t tell us to move on. We’ll move on when we are ready to and not before.
Everyone around you is grieving in some way. I was working on a client when he told me that he’d recently lost his father, too. The whole story came out in bits and pieces and I was horrified that I’d never heard it before. When I pass the old man at the beach, looking towards the horizon, I wonder if he’s thinking about the sister he just lost. When the woman next door told my mother about the loss of her husband, in tears, because she’d been lonely for so long, it broke my heart. You never know when someone is grieving. Just be patient with us, and with the people around you. You never know what someone else is going through, or who they’ve lost.