i miss my friend.
i know his wife Nicky misses him more.
And some of you probably don’t miss him at all.
And that’s okay.
MAKING IT UP AS WE GO ALONG
i have not lost anyone significant in my life that i was really close to before and so this is new ground for me. So i’m kinda figuring out how this is [oh, that’s how it works?] day by day, realising that when this happens again with someone else some day, that it might look totally different.
So these are just observations, thoughts, ideas, which may or may not apply to other people, but which feel right now as if they might be true.
The week or two leading up to someone’s death [when it becomes likely or obvious] and the week or two after, everyone is there. People are wanting to know the latest news and visit and help and hug [yeah, we covered that one] and we came up with some helpful advice on that one.
It can be a little overwhelming. Especially for the family and the closest friends. Each person’s individual message and hug and visit in itself would be okay, but you need to realise that yours is one of ten, or even fifty, and at times a hundred, and then boundaries have to be put in place.
Space needs to be given for those closest to perhaps grieve hardest [in whatever way they choose].
But then those two weeks are over… and crickets…
DON’T PULL A DISAPPEARING ACT
This post is not particularly for me, i don’t think. i have my people and they are doing great. And most of the time i am happy to just try and process this all on my own.
But i think it’s important that we remember proximity here. i think of Rob a lot of the time, but especially in those times when he would have been here. So he would have absolutely been one of my go to’s in this kind of situation to help me talk out my grief and how that relates to my faith journey and more.
But for family they will remember him particularly at family gatherings, on birthdays and holidays, when they would have heard from him or seen him.
And then Nicky? Well, every single day. Because he would have always been there and everything will remind her of him right now.
In a moment of tragedy or crisis or even transition [the day you move into a new house, the moment a new baby is born] everyone tends to be there. But a week later, everyone has returned to their lives and in many cases is not even thinking about that thing any more. Whereas the person in the middle of it is living it.
FINDING THE BALANCE
i feel like as a group of close friends and family, we did pretty well in terms of protecting each other from being overwhelmed. But now it’s up to each one of us to be sensitive to the underwhelmedness of everyone disappearing and returning to normal life where you as one of the key players are left behind in a longer possibly continuous grieving process?
Again, this is not a good time to invade with presence or hugs or unwanted attention. But it might be a good time to send a note, or a message, drop off a gift or a meal with someone else to pass on – just to let them know, you are thinking of them as their journey continues.
No unhelpful clichés or out of context verses or christianisms. Just a ‘Thinking of you’ or a ‘Here’s R150 to take yourself out for a movie or meal’ or something like that.
Don’t overwhelm, but don’t disappear either. It is perfectly okay if your grieving process was short and possibly not as intense. But let’s try figure out the next steps of this journey well for everyone concerned.