I’ve often been the person who refused to go along with some group’s plan to ignore a real issue and try to talk around it.
I usually begin like this, “I know it’s hard to talk about, but let’s be honest and…”
I’m even more inclined in that direction now. If my son’s instant and untimely death has taught me anything, it’s taught me that there’s no use pretending.
So I’m not going to pretend: Western society doesn’t do grief well.
I’m not sure that was always the case but like so many other unpleasant, sad and/or uncomfortable aspects of life, we’ve sequestered grief to separate buildings and specialists. We’ve tried to clean it up and clear it away from the everyday.
Like they say, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
If we can hide it, we don’t have to deal with it.
But I’m here to tell you, you WILL have to deal with it. One day, one way or another, death will come knocking at YOUR door. No one gets out of here alive.
So let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
Let’s stop ignoring death and grief and how one person’s departure for Heaven leaves others behind trying to deal with the loss, the pain, and the hole that missing life leaves in their hearts.
I know it will take effort to learn the language of grief. It’s a lost language and it will feel strange on your tongue.
The more you use it, the more you will realize that it’s really just the language of love with a slight accent. There are a few more pauses between words, a bit more emphasis in some places and less in others.
And when you don’t know what to say, it’s fine to admit that.
Just say, “I don’t know what to say, but I want you to know I care.”
Because that means you see the elephant too.