The world doesn’t understand grief. The world doesn’t talk about grief. And this is what you absolutely MUST understand. This makes it even MORE difficult for people struggling with loss to heal.
It’s hard enough. And for some reason, there’s this myth that talking about the people we’ve lost makes us feel worse.
It’s the complete opposite. NOT talking about our grief makes us feel worse.
In the most recent Relief From Grief Workshop, (email me if you’d like to attend the next workshop or receive the replay), multiple people discussed feeling like their lost loved ones “never even existed,” because friends and family “don’t ever bring them up.”
And for people struggling to just make it through the day, figuring out how to express this to others is overwhelming. Remember, people get uncomfortable when it comes to grief… so many people suffer silently, not knowing how to navigate the conversations.
I’m able to just say Please talk about Jim! Share your memories and favorite stories. And I talk about him (and to him) every day. But not everyone is like me.
Many people struggle and need YOU to understand that talking about lost loves is our way of keeping them with us. So talk! Share! Ask questions. Honor their memories.
But what do you do when people express their discomfort?
It sounds easier than it is, but be true to YOU. The last time I was in Michigan, one of my nieces said that talking about Uncle Jim makes her sad and could we please stop.
Many would listen. Many would stop talking to ease the discomfort. I didn’t. I explained why we’ll ALWAYS talk about Uncle Jim. And mind you – my brother is trying to shush me the entire time.
But it’s not up to them. It’s also not healthy to avoid the uncomfortable. How does that prepare anyone for life? We need to be teaching our young ones that feeling sad is part of life. We need to teach them that falling down is part of life – and show them how to get back up again. Right?
Not in my nieces’ world. They recently lost an uncle on their moms side of the family, but I was instructed (literally told!) not to bring it up because “it makes them sad.”
We’ll be having a family meeting next month when I visit – because this goes against everything I stand for. Everything and I am.
What do I always say? Silence is the enemy. We need to be having the conversations. Avoiding them doesn’t change the facts of life. It doesn’t prepare them to cope, communicate, and most importantly, heal!
It’s like mental illness. Not discussed – because it’s difficult. Uncomfortable. And this is why our world isn’t making any progress. It treats the people struggling like they’re the ones with something to be assumed of when, I’m reality, it’s the other way around.
People grieving. People with mental illness. You’ve done nothing wrong. It’s the world that has it backwards. It’s the world that Shames us instead of acknowledging the need to learn.
So as we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, I continue to make all kinds of noise. Because simple things like not discussing people we’ve lost are painful. And you can do your part by just being open.
Ask the questions. Listen. Show support ESPECIALLY when it makes you uncomfortable.
And don’t struggle alone. Connect with others who get it! The Griefhab Community is a place to heal – YOUR way! Join us. Share the community with others who are dealing with loss. That’s a huge conversation♥
You can also connect with me with anytime.
Ask Sam Live is NOT recorded – so you can discuss anything! You just have to attend live.
Register here for the next one on Tuesday, 5/24 at 6pm MST here: samantharuth.com/ask-sam