You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
A Friends and Family Post
Thanks for the request for this one. I’ve wanted to write about it for a while.
Those of us that have survived the fire know that Grief teaches us many things. How to love. How to live. Tolerance. Humility. Patience. Empathy. But first, it makes us selfish.
An Injured Animal
Have you ever seen an injured pet try to bite its human? The one that was only trying to help them? They’d never do that in a normal situation, but pain changes them. They are scared and and confused and instinct kicks in to protect themselves. They can’t speak, so they attack. Grieving humans aren’t so different from that injured animal.
Grief Makes Us Selfish
Grief makes us selfish. The pain is crippling. The screams, even when silent, are primal. My pain is all I’m aware of. It’s all-consuming. I’m not saying your Grief is less; I’m saying I don’t care. I hurt so much I CAN’T care. Your petty problems when my universe just shattered are something I don’t care to hear about. I don’t care about your ideas on what I should do. I can’t even care that you are also grieving him. My grief at losing him will outweigh yours, no matter who you are, because it’s mine. So, Cowboy, go f@#$ yourself and the horse you rode in on and leave me alone.
Sound familiar? I hear from some of you that you don’t know what to do to help your W. That you’re trying, but she keeps pushing you away; that she’s angry; that she doesn’t understand that you are sad and worried. All true, and all normal. I’m still amazed my friends and family stuck around, because in the throes of the worst of my grief I was a monster. I am so grateful they did. (My God, I love these people more than words can ever describe.)
How You Can Help
Here’s the deal. Selfish isn’t a bad thing. Your W needs to be selfish so she can heal. Here are some suggestions on how you can help:
- Be there. Don’t disappear. Just be there. Even if she pushes you away, hang out on the sidelines until she’s ready for you. She needs to know you’re there.
- Watch your Judgy McJudgerson face. Trust me; she already knows that you are worried. She already feels guilty that she isn’t healing as fast as everyone else appears to be and is beating herself up about it. Just let her take her time and assure her you’re not leaving. There is no timeline for grief.
- When you hear others (friends, family, co-workers, etc.) say things like, “it’s been six months/a year/two years, she should be getting better,” please stop and politely tell that person to shut the f@#$ up, that grief has no timeline.
- Don’t bring up the future. She is hurting in the NOW. Just be there and hold space with her. It was all I could do not to stab people, even those I love most in this world, when they’d say things like someday you’ll meet someone or this will pass or I promise it will get better. Nope, stick with ,”I love you, and I’m here. I wish I could make it better, but I’m not going to let you go through this alone.”
Keep loving her, no matter what. And even though she may not be able to tell you, I will. Thank you. Thank you for not leaving her alone in this.
The Wandering Widow
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.
Got a topic you’d like addressed? Message me. Thanks for reading! XO, L