“Mom, then YOU will be home all ALONE?”
The year our youngest son, Aaron, entered kindergarten my wife and I made efforts to prepare him for the traumatic event of being away from Mom for the whole day. On one occasion, Ruth was walking hand-in-hand with him near our house. She was reviewing the fun Aaron would have the next week at school all day. Suddenly, Aaron stopped and burst into tears. Ruth inquired about his crying. Through his wrinkled face he blurted, “Mom, then YOU will be home all ALONE?”
Loneliness can be devastating. Often, a person who is grieving struggles with that as much or more than dealing with the actual loss. It will help you relate with your grieving friends and relatives if you can keep that aspect of grieving in mind, especially when their grieving is due to death. I had several well-meaning friends offer, “Dave, any time you want to talk just call me. I mean it, anytime.” In all honesty, it would have been more of a help to me had they said, “Dave, would you prefer that I come by Saturday evening at 7 or Sunday?” My experience is that generalities seldom happen but specifics do. You may not be able to relate with much of the grieving process but if you break it down a bit, you can probably relate some to loneliness. Saying something specific about helping them deal with their loneliness, even for one day, will go much farther than soothing your conscience with a generality that probably won’t materialize.
I appreciate your continued interest in understanding more how you can help those you know who are grieving. Grief Relief Ministries is devoted to helping the care givers of those who grieve from loss.