About Loss and Grief
All you can control in life is how you respond to life. — Jerome Johnson
Whenever I experience loss or disappointment, the tortoise in me retreats into its shell. I want to be able to FEEL the pain on my own. Pick the lessons, and live with the experience. When grieving, human company is welcome, but not unsolicited words/advice.
I learnt to cope with tragedy when I was barely an adult. The loss was at a very personal level: a few close relations passed away within a short period — one after other — and answers were hard to come by. The teenager had to soldier on.
There is no manual for grieving. Individuals cope differently. Loss breaks some — never to recover; others recover, but wear their scars/experience(s) like badges of honour.
And they say time heals. It is a fallacy. Time only helps ease the pain, but the scars are for life.
When helping those grieving: do no harm. Don’t be quick to say: “I know how you feel.” Not only is that insensitive, but one can not be in the grieving person’s shoes. Not then. Not ever.
In this part of the world, counseling and other forms of psycho-social support are not popular. Grieving individuals are left to bank on their support systems. If any.
I am lucky to have a closely-knit support system. The kind that calls to say: “are you okay?” and doesn’t ask more questions when response is affirmative. Because they KNOW their person.