I am super good at having tragedy happen to me. I’m very well versed in what to do and how to act and how to respond to people.
I can arrange a funeral like nobody’s business. You want to know about songs and readings? I’ve got songs and readings.
But because I’ve become accustomed to all of this happening to me, my emotional growth and know-how is stunted when it happens to people I love.
What do I do? What do I say? I mean, I know what not to say, but I get so caught up in the detail that I totally forget how to behave as a grown-up adult that is witness to some else’s grief. Sometimes the occasion calls for more than just three green-heart emojis on a Facebook page.
This is a weird and totally foreign position for me.
And then, the further problem; I get so engrossed in trying to figure out the right thing to say, the correct thing to do that I forget that time is passing and then I focus on that and I allow things to just get weird.
No one is good at these things – why should I be any different? Because really, there are no expectations from anyone. Everyone knows the other isn’t “good” at bad things. But still, we hold ourselves accountable for action and grace and proper word choice.
Because I’ve pressured myself to be exactly right at all emotional cross-roads. And that is just not a reasonable expectation.
But here we are.
I’ve done nothing for anyone, and I’ve sat with my own brain long enough that all the words fail. When is it too late? When do I cross the line into terrible friend? HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT?
This is the tricky part, for me. With all of my dealings in the death business, it turns out that being gracious in life eludes me.
This is my admission for those of you that have ever looked at me and had all your words fail. You’re in company.
Zero Stars. Do not recommend.
Here is my observation (unsolicited advice which is legal because we aren’t in group.) Take the leap into the uncomfortable after too much time has passed and acknowledge how little we really can say to a broken hearted person. I have spent a lot of time trying to find peace with myself by offering peace to others. I don’t know. Maybe that’s all we can really do. Sometimes your only method of transportation is a leap of faith. (Not my line, borrowed.)
Lots of affection, Lori
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