I have a lot of people in my life, both personally and professionally, in grief right now.
Some really loud grief and some a bit softer grief.
All traumatically hard grief.
So here are some lessons I’ve learned along the way…
“I’m sorry” doesn’t usually help us feel better or seen.
Saying nothing usually hurts worse than saying something stupid. Although that stupid shit like “God needed an angel” or anything starting with “at least…” hurts real bad too.
Say their name. Bring it up.
You can’t remind us or make us sad. We live with it every day.
Grief doesn’t get better. It gets different.
Any grief triggers all grief.
The waves of grief will come. Sometimes in tsunami-like waves. Sometimes it’s in slow ripples. Either way, the waves always come. We can ride them in. Be crashed to the bottom by them with a mouth full of sand. Or even try to beat them back with our surfboard. Either way, they’re coming, always and forever. It’s how we know we loved.
To love hard means to grieve hard.
Our grief doesn’t get smaller; our healing, life, and joy grow bigger around it.
Not sure what to say? Then say that.
Or here is a bit of a script.
“This is brutal. I can (NOT can’t*) imagine you feel utterly heartbroken and sad. There aren’t words to make this even a little okay, nor do I know what to even say except I see you, I love you, I’m here.
And then show up.
*I can’t imagine is not empathic. We can imagine. Our brains are made to imagine. We just choose not to because it’s vulnerable. Choose to imagine and sit beside us.