bereavement , death , grief , meaning , mourning , purpose , soulmates , widowed
Words that hurt: happiness, joy.
Phrases that hurt: ‘Rich would want you to be happy’, ‘I hope you’re enjoying…’, ‘May you find peace’, ‘this will help you heal’, ‘try and find something to smile about today’.
Phrases that help: ‘tell me about Rich’, ‘don’t hold it in’, ‘just be you’, ‘you are hurting’, ‘I wish I’d known him’.
And the best way to ask after someone experiencing profound bereavement? – ‘how is today?’ If you ask ‘how are you?’, then frankly you’re not really thinking about the person in front of you or at the other end of the phone. How the f*** do you think I am? Is the way we want to respond. But instead, of late, I just don’t bother responding at all. Because if they can’t imagine what the devastation of loss like this might feel like, and I haven’t got the energy to explain, even…
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