Monday, February 22, 2010

I copied this from a friend's blog! Love it.

There isn't one part of this list I don't agree with
Grief List

1. First and foremost TALK about the loved one who's passed. Even if it uncomfortable at first, it will become easier.

2. If you didn't know the person at all or very well, ask to hear about them and learn of them through stories.

3. Don't ever put a time line on someone's grief.

4. Saying things like, "They are in a better place," or "This too shall pass..." really isn't comforting. It makes the bereaved feel like the place they had with them wasn't good or that the pain will go away eventually.

5. If you don't know what to say, just say, "I'm SO sorry you have to go through this."

6. If the person needs to analyze the circumstances surrounding the death, let them just talk and rehash anything as many times as they need to.

7. Don't assume they are ever "better." It never gets better and will be a part of them for the rest of their lives.

8. Don't underestimate how frazzled, absent minded & spacey grief can make you.

9. Pamper them if you have means. Retail Therapy works great! So did pedicures and getting my hair done, I felt awful on the inside, at least I could try to feel good about me on the outside.

10. Love notes. Emails. Thinking of You cards. Thinking of the bereaved person cards.

11. Do not, I stress Do not get offended if your loved one doesn't answer his/her phone or return your calls. Don't assume that they don't appreciate your effort. It's just that someone bereaved doesn't want to put on a "happy voice" and burden everyone with their grief.

12. Most bereaved people will not offer information on how they are doing unless they truly feel like youwant to know.

13. Validate.Validate.Validate. Please whatever you do, don't compare your loved ones loss to someone else’s' "harder loss". Every loss is hard. Comparing makes the person feel like they shouldn't struggle because it could be worse.

14. Serve. Even the littlest bit of service makes a huge impact.

15. Just make sure they know you love them. Be a shoulder to cry on.


Stock Family said...

It is great, isn't it? I found it on She lost an infant son. I added the "this too shall pass" and #14.

Kathleen said...


Sheila said...

Oh, thankyou... thankyou !

You have hit ALL the nails directly on the head...

I've been on this unforseen, unexpected journey for 34 mos now... with losing my best-friend/hubby... & truly I treasure no phone calls, no e-mails, no visits from 99% of relatives & who we both thought were good friends.

Blessings to you & yours dear Sister... blessings !

Bri said...

So straight it! Makes it seem like being supportive to a grieving person isn't that hard...I think it just takes a little willingness to put yourself out there.
It's good that you've posted this, I think, Kelly. It helps give people some kind of reference about what you need and DO NOT need.

Katie said...

I agree with Bri. It's hard to know what the "right" thing to say/do/act as a person who wants to be a supporter, confidant, friend. Of course, there is no "right" way, but having a window into some general ideas of what helps and what doesn't is helpful. (Distance doesn't make it any easier.)

One thought - as a friend, I often don't know the right balance of #1/#2 (talking about the loved one and stories) and #12 (bereaved people will not offer unless they really want you to know) you (or your readers) have advice about this? I always want to ask about how you are and your thoughts about your grief - but I don't always know if that's what you want to talk about - or if you'd rather be talking about other things, different things. Thoughts?

Kelly said...

In responce to Katie,
I think, if you can, just bring it up. How many people tell me later they were thinking of the babies when we were together and never told me. I went off assuming they didn't remember or care. And now it's been months so it's weird to begin that conversation now. When people don't bring it up, usually I don't either. I have in the past, desperate to share this important part of my life with them, but now I don't. It feels degrading. Like trying to make my child important to someone who doesn't think it's important. Once the ice is broken, it's easy on my end to talk about it and bring it up. I will only do it with people who I think genuinely care.
I am curious about your actions or thoughts when you had your huge loss... don't want to bring it up here, but I would think you remember similar feelings or maybe even opposite feelings!? I would think you an expert in matters like this.

Annie said...

Hi - Just discovered your blog and have read through much of it. I can relate to so much of what you've written. So sorry for the losses you've suffered! I lost my babies to cord problems (two boys six months apart to hypercoiling and stricture) and was happy to see the blog your husband created to bring more attention to the issue. Thanks for sharing your story!

Amy said...

Thank you.