Grief is awful. It’s the most horrible feeling. It sort of sits on your shoulder, and you carry it around. While it sits there, quietly, it’s totally bearable. Then suddenly when you least expect it, it leaps in front of you bowling you over. SURPRISE! Although, it isn’t a surprise. You start to become accustomed to carrying it around, but, as time goes on, when you get bowled over it is easier to get back up again. It does get easier. It might not feel it, but it really does.
There’s this even more awful thing though, and that is knowing whether or not to speak to someone about their deceased loved one.
I have really struggled with this. Part of me thought that if we never spoke about them again, it would be easiest. There would be no awkward moments, and no emotions – that would be easiest wouldn’t it?
I quickly discovered that not talking made me personally feel worse. It was like I had bottled everything up, and I got to the point where I just couldn’t not talk about it anymore.
So now, I will say “OH! Gosh she would have loved that – she adored those!”. Or I will talk about those funny times, or where a photo was taken. It still hurts, don’t get me wrong – it does. But it also makes me smile. But that is me. I have the idea that by talking about my loved ones, I keep their memory alive.
However, I also totally understand those who would rather not talk about their loved ones. Sometimes the pain of remembering them is too great. Verbalising a loved one in a past tense is too painful. To try to not think of them, or at least not think of them as gone.
My advice, if you know someone who has lost a loved one, just say something to them. You can talk about the weather, your favourite cake, or ask them if they’re ok. They may cry, they may ignore you, or it may bring you closer.