Pink and white flowers with a plaque reading "In Loving Memory" in front.

Sharing – What the Most Common Advice About Grief Gets So Wrong

Having lived through many instances of deep grief, I agree with this when it comes to offering advice for getting through it.

I can’t tell you what to do because your grief isn’t my grief and your loss isn’t my loss, and we are two different people with two different experiences of the world, two different relationships with our loved ones, and a million different needs.

Losing someone is a lot like abuse and trauma in this way. Each individual’s grief or trauma is different in many ways. In my opinion, however, we have one thing in common: a need for space. We need the space to grieve in the way and at a time that works for us. Sometimes, however, people aren’t comfortable with giving us that space and feel like they need to say or do the thing that is going to help us end our grief.

There’s nothing you can say that will do that. Let people know that you are there for them, share your memories of the person they’ve lost, and allow them the space to grieve. That’s all that is required of you. Fixing someone else’s grief, just like healing their trauma, isn’t possible. It’s not your job. Your job is to keep the space open for them to heal.

Can you keep that space and be uncomfortable with them?

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