Yesterday it had been six months since my beautiful Dad left the earth and if I can be honest (which I know I can) I think I am doing pretty well. There are good days and bad days but overall I feel like the steps of navigating my own grief have been pretty straight forward.
In the beginning I needed space, but not too much. I only wanted to see and spend time with certain people and I was happy to talk about him, his illness (and how much it sucked!) and our lives. I knew how to navigate my own grief because I knew it intimately; we became well acquainted before he passed. But how would I navigate someone else’s grief? Someone I love? How would I help them avoid the pain (the stingers)?
That for me is seemingly a hell of a lot harder.
So what to do? How to help? How can I support them in the way they need me to (not the way I need to, it is funny how as humans we do that!) without overstepping, without being too much? Here is what I know so far;
There is no set time for grief to pass or even to start, so this is one of the most important. Let them set the pace, be respectful, it may not be how you would handle the situation, but it is ultimately right for them.
Be There, Without Expectation
This one definitely rolls on from the previous. This is something we should all be attempting (and I say attempting because it can sometimes be bloody hard) in every interaction we have every day. Expectations kill relationships. At this point in the road having zero expectation is so important. Let them know you love them and are there when they need you. No pushing please.
This one I am good at (maybe too good)! Touching base and checking in let’s someone know that they are on your mind and that they are loved and cared for.
Simple yet effective.Be it physically in the way of flowers or food or in simply holding the person in your mind’s eye and sending them some love. I truly believe both have just as much power.
So there you go, just a few. You may notice that none of these things specifically help with avoiding the sting. The main thing to remember is to heal we need to feel, so the best thing you can do is bear witness by using the above methods.
I am still on this journey and would love to hear if you have any other beautiful ideas for support those you love, while they grieve, I would love you to leave me your thoughts below.
Much love, em x