Let’s begin a discussion about death and grief and send that elephant out the door.
To enable this, society requires an open dialogue that provides education and empathy regarding the true reality of the grief journey. A shift in the public’s perception would be so helpful for all who are grieving.
Grief changes shape but it never ends. There will always be triggers that bring us back to sorrow. In these moments our instinct is to reach out and share our emotions with friends and family. Ironically, those we thought we could lean on to hold our space are often the first people to push us away.
There is a HUGE elephant in the room.
We don’t talk and they don’t ask.
We learn to play the ‘game’.
You know the game upon which I speak?
“I’m fine.” “All is good.” “I’m strong.” “I’m independent.” “I’ve moved on.”
Yet, secretly, no matter how fabulous we are doing; most of us have searched out a private online community where we chat with strangers who allow us to cry, remember, share fears and welcome our emotions with no preconceived judgement.
Societal timelines create increased loneliness.
Private social media groups abound with frustrated members who recant stories of relatives, friends and even colleagues that comment on OUR grieving time frame and suggest we “move on”.
Society tells US when it’s time to stop grieving!!!
What’s the harm?
People often gives us an allotted timeline to heal. Does 6 months or 1 year ring a bell? Rather than risk condemnation, the bereaved accept this unrealistic expectation and feel too embarrassed to reach out for support. This forced isolation often leads to a increased sense of loneliness.
Loneliness is concerning and can negatively spiral into many health concerns.
It takes a village.
Changing the dialogue regarding death and grieving is a monumental task. I value your encouragement, help, comments…
As individuals we are strong and independent women.
United, we are a FORCE.
If you need encouragement, observe how similar educational campaigns have changed societal perspectives regarding mental health, infertility and race.
To begin, we need to open up & let others know the pain we experience when they shut us down.
Please share a memory when someone told you to stop grieving. I promise to keep it anonymous.
Thank you so very much Susan for this inspirational and supportive blog. Even 8 month in (still raw and fresh) of my husband sudden death people are calling me with their problems expecting me to solve them as this should be “accepted amount of time for Tysha to be back to normal and we can burden her with our issues and problems.” It’s quite insensitive. In one case, the person never asked me how I was doing just went straight to how they needed my help. We have to educate the our community of friends and family that we are still a priority and grief is does not have a timeline. Forever Evolving indeed.
i’m so sorry for your loss.
“back to normal”? what is that? People do not understand and i hope to change the dialogue around death but it takes time and help from others like you,
Thank you for reaching out.