This week’s question centered around letting others know that you love them while you are grieving the loss of an important person in your life. This is not easy - especially when you are early in your grief journey. When you are new to grief, it can be hard to focus on anything for more than a few minutes at a time.
What do you do? For me, I actually had to write a mental note to myself to make sure that I spent time with each member of my family at some time during the week. Please note I didn’t say daily, as that would have been overwhelming. Of course, this depends on the age of the other survivors. Young children will find ways to demand your attention. Adults will try to give you space, but they still need to know that you love them.
One way to make sure everyone has consideration is to include them in the decisions as much as you can. By including your loved ones in the decisions, you are making sure that they feel respected. You also benefit from their support and can listen to ideas that others have to offer. Everyone wants to feel part of the family group and know they are still loved, especially when the unthinkable happens.
For next week – our question is “How do I get people to talk to me about something other than the death?” Please feel free to send questions that you would like to see in the Saturday message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Jody, Kevin, and Mary-Ann who sent answers to this week’s question. This was a difficult one and they have done a wonderful job.
My daughter and I are best friends. She has grown into a beautiful, responsible, cherished daughter and person. We try to make regular visits to the cemetery, together. She strengthens me and I try to help her. Sometimes, I feel like she is providing more support to me! She loved her brother so much and we all are still struggling with "How did this happen? Why didn't he call someone?" She always has a funny story or a great reminder of an incident that the two shared. They were as different as night and day but somehow complimented each other. She kept him grounded and he taught her how to live in the moment. What a great relationship. She keeps me focused on the positive and not the negative. I love to watch her smile and her eyes light up when she talks about her brother. We are planning to attend the suicide survivor retreat in San Diego this coming October. She is looking forward to sharing experiences with other siblings and I am looking forward to gaining strength from other parents.
The question "How do I let the other significant loved ones in my life know that I love them while I am grieving?" does bring up a lot of points. I have tried to put my feelings aside and help our two boys "forget" their grief for a little while. I do things with them that make them laugh and enjoy life. I try to plan things with my wife and the family so we can still live and be alive. Last week my pastor said, "Our greatest triumph is relying on God when our world falls apart." Hold tight to your heart and memories. Don't forget that we all lost the same person, but they meant something different to each of us. May God hold you all tight in His loving arms.
I know the first few months life is so confusing that it's hard to think of anything other than what has happened to your loved one. However I think it's very important to take into consideration the feelings of other family members who also are deeply hurting. In my situation my family consisted of my husband and three children, 2 sons and a daughter. The last thing I wanted to have happen is to have our very closely-knit family fall completely apart.
1. I tried to keep in mind and remind the others in the family that we are all hurting.
2. I tried to remind myself and other family members that we don't all grieve in the same way and to be patient with one another.
3. When aware that a loved one is having a hard time share your love for that person, a hug, a word of advice or whatever you are capable of at the time.
4. If you feel you're in an ill mood and may have hurt someone’s feelings, let that person know that you're sorry and that you love him/her and would never hurt that person intentionally and give a hug of reassurance.
5. Talk together, cry together and keep the air clear between one another. Group hugs are always good for all concerned.
6. I always try to remind myself that though I have lost a son, I still am blessed to have another son and daughter to love and care for as well as my husband.