Grievers only need to be heard and not fixed
“61 years is a long time to be married to the same person, and then loose them,” Elaine said as she stared into space. “Wow,” was my response. “That is amazing and I can’t even imagine how it must feel for you now. The loneliness must be overwhelming.” “You’re right, it is,” was her confident reply. We went on to cover simple changes both she and I had experienced over the last year: buying food and cooking for ONE instead of two, learning to manage jobs our mates always did, and adjusting socially to being single. I noticed that her spirits and demeanor had improved following our talk. She was also glad to get her windows cleaned that I did for her.
Did you notice that I did not say anything like, “I know how you feel”? I really don’t and she did not expect me to. She only needed me to empathize and acknowledge her pain…not to fix it. So often I think if we don’t know what to say that will FIX their problem of grief, then we keep quiet. Not so. Grievers only need to be heard and not fixed.
Thanks for your continued interest in improving your ability to help the hurting.