Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The gift of empathy

Today I'm going to touch on bereavement which I have talked about before.  My grandfather passed away on Saturday after living a fulfilling life.  He was a WWII Veteran and a POW at the end of WWII.  I am very proud of my grandpa and although it saddens me that he is no longer with us, I know he's in a better place.

The process of grief is so individual and death is something you never "get over".  Yet, life still goes on.  I've heard from dear friends who have lost a mother, sister, child, etc.  that the thing that amazes them most is that the sun still rises, traffic still flows, people still go to work, even though their hearts are breaking and their worlds have come crashing down.  I think that is the most important thing to remember.  When someone you know has lost a loved one, even though carpool is still on for you, their lives are turned upside down and we can be respectful of that.

In using good manners, it's always best to keep it simple when talking to someone who is grieving.  It's a great skill to listen carefully to what they are saying and let them know how difficult you know it is for them.  Let them know you are thinking about them.  The most important thing above all is that you are genuine in what you say.  Make sure what you're saying comes from the heart and you'll most likely be OK.

Funerals are bittersweet occasions where families band together to honor a loved one.  This can be a time of great sadness or celebration; I've seen both.  Make sure you are doing your part to help others feel comfortable around you by following a few simple guidelines.

My two cents

No comments: