At some point or another, we all feel grief due to a tragic loss. It doesn't matter how it happened, or how we knew the person(s): the truth is, THAT SHIT SUCKS! It is a gut wrenching, heart breaking, stomach sinking feeling when we lose a loved one. There is nothing that can prepare us for it, even if we were given a warning (ex: being diagnosed with cancer). Our hearts ache for days, months and even years. There is no time limit to how long someone can/should grieve. Everyone is different and has their own process. The most important thing while grieving is that we remember kindness and sensitivity. Maybe it wasn't you who directly lost a loved one, but it was your best friend/ favorite teacher/close relative etc.- THAT SHIT ALSO HURTS!
Just because the death was not directly correlated with your family or anyone you knew, doesn't mean it makes it any easier for us to watch our loved ones suffer through it. I have experienced both personal loss, and grieving for someone else who has experienced loss. In both situations, I realized the same conclusion-it isn't always easy to console/get consoled after loss. People don't know what to say other than the cliche "I'm sorry for your loss" or "They are in a better place!". I will admit, when my brother passed and people used those generic phrases, it was hard for me to not respond negatively. "Yes, Linda, I know he is in a better place-BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKE ME FEEL BETTER B*****"! I know to some people that may seem harsh, especially because it was said with good intentions, but I am just being honest.
After being on the other end of a tragic loss, I now realized that those "cliche" phrases people were saying to me, I had previously said to so many people in the past in their time of loss...It really made me stop and ponder-why was I getting irritated for people trying to console me? I would have said those same things? Well, because for me, that type of consoling didn't help me. What I needed was to just be left alone-but for a while I never shared that with anyone. I guess I just expected them to read my mind? I don't know...
The point is, everyone is different. Others are comforted by words and people (my Dad) while me and my younger brother really just wanted to be alone with each other in silence. For a while, I didn't know how to help or console my family and they didn't know how to console me. It wasn't until I started going to therapy that I realized I needed to be sensitive to their needs and also share my needs with them and everyone else who was trying to help me. It seems kind of crazy, right? Having to communicate your needs to people ON TOP OF dealing with loss?!? But yes, it is true and is for the better.
I wanted to share this because of the recent shooting that happened at Borderline. Thousand Oaks is such a tight knit community, and I know many people are feeling the pain of those families and friends who lost loved ones. I have copied some articles below related to grief and how we can support those who are grieving (I particularly like the last one)!!