Death is not the only thing that brings the pain of grief. Any form of loss can do that.
I know a couple who are friends and associates. They have been married many years but have no children. They have been open about the increasing pain this loss of expectation has caused them. They recently posted their hurt. After our third no-one-knows-why-it-failed attempt at IVF, this, “So, do you guys have any kids?” question became really hard to answer. It became the dreaded “meeting someone new” question, the one we both wanted to avoid.
There was so much pain wrapped up in that one little, innocent question.
It is important that we stay alert to friends and relatives who may be going through any form of major loss.
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Fear and Isolation often go hand in hand with grieving.
In the grieving process, fear and isolation often go together. The griever often feels fear while the rest of their circle of friends responds by isolating them till they “get over it.” However, potential comforters are too often hampered in helping the bereaved due to their own fears. They are afraid to talk to a bereaved friend because they “don’t know what to say” and are therefore afraid of saying the wrong thing.
Whether it is your fear, or the fear of the one who has experienced a loss, beware of the tendency of isolation. Many mourners have expressed that when they needed to talk about “what happened” and the relationship they lost, most of their friends have pulled away and seemed afraid to talk about it.
Be the one to break the cycle of fear and isolation in someone’s grieving process by bravely stepping up to the plate with a listening ear and thoughtful question.
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Loss through divorce is huge and often overlooked. It is overlooked by the mourners because life goes on without an actual death. It is overlooked by friends because the relationship break down is not usually sudden and often looked on as “their fault, so let them deal with it.”
Grief due to divorce can extend for years when not viewed as a “grievable loss.” The loss points that need to be addressed can vary from reputation to dreams. One friend wrote: “The thing I’ve been grieving most so far hasn’t yet been the loss of my wife/lover, but more so the loss of my teammate, and the loss of my kid’s mother. “
You can be a helpful friend by encouraging the one you know who has experienced a divorce by lovingly discussing these often overlooked areas of loss to aid them in working through the grief naturally caused by divorce.
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