Thursday, August 13, 2009

Walking With You...





Here is our new topic for this week....

This week we are sharing some of the things that people said to us while we were in the throws of grief...for better or for worse. Losing a child changes a person, and along with that comes changes in our relationships with friends and relatives. In some ways, our new perspective reveals what's really important in life, and who really cares about us.

I personally feel like I have been very fortunate. I can't remember many things that were said to me that hurt deeply. My family and friends were so very kind and supportive. Even if they said something a little bit insensitive, I just brushed it off because I knew it wasn't meant to be malicious or hurtful. There were many things that were said to me repeatedly that weren't exactly comforting:
  • You can still have more kids.
  • At least you have your daughter.
  • God knows what he is doing and has a reason.
  • You will get to be with him in Heaven.
  • It will get easier with time.
  • Now you have an angel watching over you.
  • I know how you feel. My grandpa/dog/aunt, etc died recently too.
  • At least you aren't like (insert name). They lost more than one child.
While these weren't comforting comments to me, I knew that they were said with the sincerest of intentions. In our culture, death is taboo. It is kind of scary for some. It is something you don't talk about. It makes people very uncomfortable. I admit to feeling all these things before Sam died. In fact, one of the things I most regret saying in my life is something I said at a funeral. The father of a teenager I knew had died. When I saw the son I blurted out "So, how are you?" I know...what an idiot. How was he supposed to answer that question? "I'm great - burying my dad today!" I felt horrible as soon as the words came out of my mouth. Today I still cringe at my thoughtlessness. However, I think it has helped me to be gracious to those who truly tried to comfort me when Sam died.

Personally, what hurt the most was the things people DIDN'T DO or DIDN'T SAY. It was very hard when people acted like nothing happened. It hurt when people didn't remember anniversary dates. It hurt when it seemed everyone else had forgotten my sweet boy. That was much harder for me to deal with. In a few cases, it opened my eyes to which people in my life TRULY cared. I was surprised by many people - both in good ways and bad ways.

The things that helped me most where those who came and just sat with me. Or just cried with me. People who didn't offer many words of encouragement...they just let me be me, and let me be where I was in my suffering at that moment. Those people will never know how special that was to me.

Hosting a grieving mothers support group in my home over the past year, I have met many women who have lost a child or pregnancy. All of our stories are different. Yet all of us have suffered immensely.Through these women I have learned that what offend some people does not offend others. And what comforts you might not comfort me. Grieving is very individual and we all experience it in a unique way. But we have all agreed that we greatly appreciate hugs and shared tears. They speak louder than words.




4 comments:

  1. It does hurt more for the things that aren't said. Our children just simply forgotten. I think it's wonderful that you are trying to have a positive outlook and not holding anything against people who say something that just isn't proper. The group that you are leading in your home is a very good idea. I hope it continues to help all of you ladies. God Bless.

    Love,
    Jenny

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  2. Danielle...thank you so much for this post. You are so right that grief is unique to each individual. What is a comfort (or offense) to one may not be to another. I think those that are just there to walk along side us are the best source of comfort, too. Excellent post. I feel like each one of you has shed light on a different aspect of this part of grieving as I visit everyone on this week's walk.

    Thank you...and blessings to you,
    Kelly

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  3. I think a lot of us feel that what is the most comforting is just being there and not saying anything. You don't always need words. I think a hug can say a lot in itself.

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  4. I had some moments of realization of how I should have been a better friend after our loss which helped me be a little more understanding of others too. It still hurts though and you're right- the things that weren't said or done hurt the most, especially from those people that I thought I'd be able to count on. Other friends that I didn't expect to reach out have though which has pleasantly surprised me.

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