Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Who Decides When? On Grief and Dying

Who is it that decides when someone else should or should not grieve the loss of a loved one or even a pet and for how long someone should grieve?

This subject has really hacked me off lately and I can't believe how high and mighty some people are. I remember many years ago when my son who was 18 months old passed away and people telling me things like: 'you can have more!' Like I can replace a child or 'in time, you will get over this,' FYI people, it has been over 30 years and I still haven't gotten over it!

Recently I heard of a woman who lost her husband after 50 years of marriage, I am 54, so I know 50 is a long time to spend a life with someone and after just 5 weeks someone walked up to her and told her, 'don't you think it is just time to get over it?'

Who are these people? Have they ever lost anyone or anything in their life? I seriously doubt it. Others I believe are just to incapable of feeling empathy for anyone but themselves.

There are stages of grief...denial, anger, guilt, depression....a whole slew of feelings, emotions, sorting through life being on your own again whether you have been married a short time, forever, whether it is a parent. You just don't, get over it in a day, a week or even a month!

You aren't helping someone by telling them to get over it, get on with it, things will get better. Just be there for them. That's all they want. They want someone to listen to them, hold them when they cry, tell them they aren't loosing their mind.

It's okay for them to burst into tears on a birthday, anniversary, during a special song, a family gathering, at the mention of someone's name. Give them time to adjust to what has happened.

My husband is my second skin. He helps me in all areas with the kids, appointments, the house, cooking. He encourages me, discourages me when I need, he calms me when I need calming, he is my rock, my solid foundation and trust me when I say I need someone in my life to keep me focused and on task or I can spin out of whack on my own.

To go up to someone and tell them it is time they get over it....I don't get it! But I do know we all deal with things in our own way. Be there, be strong and be kind!


autumnesf said...

Our society is so uncomfortable with grief. I don't get it.

Maybe its because we are a sitcom society....everything needs to happen in 30 minute time slots?

I have to say anyone that makes these kinds of statements is just selfish and hateful.

Gina Alfani said...

I'm #195!!

I found your blog while blog hopping and the title of this blog post caught my attention.

AWESOME post . . . I'm a widow who took over 8 years to meaningfully move on with my life after 22 years of a wonderful marriage. I can't tell you how many times I heard those words "get over it" . . . I don't know what is wrong with people! At one time or another, they will be confronted with getting over something and it is only then they will see how it feels.

The hurt never goes away, although it gets easier to deal with those "trigger days" . . .

Thank you so much for the beautiful post . . . you made me realize that I am not a freak of nature because I still miss my husband . . . even though I do have a new love in my life. Real love never goes away!

Have a wonderful day . . . Gina

Katie M. said...

Very well said.

Patty said...

I am so sorry to hear about your son. But I understand and agree with everything you said. My mother died in 2008 and my dad never got over it. He "died" a little each day for 2 years before he passed away. Death isn't something you just get over. Something small memory might cause all the feelings to come flooding back. You don't just turn off your emotions in a specific time frame.

JackieM said...

I so agree with everything you said! I won't ever "get over" a death of a loved one. I have learned to deal with the emotions. Over time....missing the the loved one terribly....I try to remember the happy times and the good feelings that loved one brought into my life.

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

I once heard a grieving man say, "allow others have the dignity to walk the paths of their own lives." It struck me hard and I've never forgotten it.

There is never a time to get over such is kind to help those who need us to get through the times that seem so dark.


Millie said...

I am so sorry to hear about your son. I won't get ever over the death of a family member too. I agree with what you said and I hope with time you will feel better. Lots of hugs!

Tamara Thomas said...

I have lost much and many in my 53 years. I understand your comments completely and agree. While they "mean well," these people haven't the foggiest clue. They are NOT helping, they are making matters more difficult if not actually worse.
My hat's off to you "granny." In my search for family after I lost mine, I have adopted a 10-year-old, so I'm with you there too. Visit me at my blog, ok? Cheers!