I remember after my dad had died, people were often unsure of what to say to me. People would tell me they were sorry, that they were thinking of me. This was all well and good I suppose, but there was one such phrase that particularly drew my ire. “I know what you’re going through,” people would say. However well-intentioned they might have been, these words pierced through me like a lightning bolt, leaving me angry and upset. Because I knew, however well-intentioned they might have been, that they had no idea what I was going through. They especially had no idea if they hadn’t lost their dad. There was simply no way for them to know of all the nights I spent alone crying in my room, wondering why God seemingly took my dad away from me. They had no idea of the countless days I spent in a blur, seemingly going through the motions of life. No, there was no way anyone could understand that if they were not in my shoes, but I told myself that they meant well. I’m sure they did, but they ended up hurting me more than helping me. When someone dies, try to avoid saying that you know what they are going through. Simply tell them that you’ll be there for them and that you’re thinking of them. Call them and check up on them, and make sure they know that they have you by their side.
Loss and the processing of someone’s death are hard. However, it’s easier knowing that you have people who love and care about you and will support you through every step of the grief journey.
Grieve well, and take your time processing through all of the memories.
It’s not easy, and it’s certainly not fun- but it’s necessary.