Losing someone you love and care about is a devastating part of life that we all must face at some point. Death is an inevitable fate of life. Some of us go through it at a young age, while some don’t face it until they are older. The level of difficulty ranges between people and the strength of the bond you had with that person. I experienced death at a young age but was too young to fully feel the entire process. I was sad and felt bad but I was also very young and it was a grandmother I did not know or regularly see.
I lost my cousin who was a year older than me when I was a sophomore in college. He lived across the country and I only saw him once every couple of years. At this point at age 20, this was the hardest death I had dealt with. He was young and had a whole life ahead of him and that was cut short. Three years later I was bombarded with three significant losses that left me feeling paralyzed. I had to not only worry about myself, but also many others around me.
I lost an inspiring and unconditionally supportive woman that was like a second mother to me to cancer and medical complications, I lost an undoubtedly present grandfather to old age and I lost the first boy I had real feelings for to drugs. It was a lot of ugly. I had to be there for my friends, my family and myself. I learned a lot about supporting and being supportive. I learned how to help and also accept help. I learned you don’t always have to be strong. I realized how truly important it is to have people.
People keep you going.
“Grief is the price we pay for love.” – Queen Elizabeth II
1. Be present.
Words may not always be necessary. Being there and being present can be enough; there isn’t always something to say. You need people in good times and in bad. Be there for your friend or family and don’t isolate yourself. Losing someone can be life altering and it can seem impossible to put the pieces back together. Cry, laugh, reminisce, listen and love. It is important to offer help and support. Be there for them.
2. Help out with the little things.
If someone is going through a deep loss they shouldn’t have to sweat the small things. Lend a helping hand whether it be phone calls, grocery shopping, dry cleaning or any small task that isn’t there area of focus. Loss can ironically bring people together and sometimes you need a little distraction. Life is too short not to make most of the time we do have.
3. Acknowledge that you can’t know exactly how the other person is feeling.
Grieving is a process that we all must face at some point. It can be frustrating to watch someone else in pain; it can cause you pain. You instinctively and desperately want to make it stop. But unfortunately grieving takes time. It takes a different length of time for everyone but it does take time. It may not always get easier and there isn’t a quick fix.
“Grief makes one hour ten.” – William Shakespeare
Death is hard. Grieving is hard. Unexpected or expected, there isn’t a way to sugarcoat the paralyzing feeling of loss. It is hard to lose and it is hard to watch someone else go through loss. Tragic loss is one of the most difficult experiences a person could endure. It is important is to be there for each other.
It doesn’t always make it easier but it is important to have people around you.