Friday, September 7, 2012

It's Inevitable

Here's the thing about death- it happens to everyone.  Here's the thing about grief- someone in your life has grieved before, is grieving now, or will be grieving soon.  So, here's the question- will you be ready when it happens? Will you be there for them, prepared and confident enough to reach out, or will you retreat out of fear of saying/doing the wrong thing?

This, dear readers, is why HEALING exists.  This is why I speak and write about grief.  We will all lose someone, we all deserve compassion, and we all need each other.

The best way to never get good at something is to push it away and not think, read or talk about it.  It's awkward to go to someone after a death.  I get it!  Worse, though, is watching their pain and never acknowledging their loss.  Grief is one of those situations where you will either make it worse or make it better.  It's that simple.

This brings me to a recent book signing.  (I got to sit beside one of my favorite writers, Myra McLarey, pictured below.) There were about fifteen authors, and we were seated behind tables as people came and discussed our work.  That's my favorite part- meeting new people and hearing their stories.

A woman who manages a large department of a local healthcare company bought a few copies and we spoke a bit about ways to help within the workplace.  Just a week later she contacted me to tell me a co-worker (and good friend) committed suicide. She told me the book had been very helpful.  We remarked on the timing and we talked awhile about this special man who was deeply missed.

Until we find a way to prevent death, let's work on being better at supporting those around us as they grieve.  Learn how to help, what most people find comforting, and what never to say.


We can do it together.

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When someone dies, (other than attending the service), I do this for the family-