there are always a few do's and don'ts. Etiquette to be followed when you're around people experiencing a loss. There are things that should just not be allowed and also people, if you may !
- I fail to understand - why crying is necessary. If someone doesn't want to, then they don't want to. Crying is a way of letting go and is not a sign of weakness. So, let them be.
- Not beating their chest, not banging their head, not wearing dull clothes and not eating food - are NOT signs of any kind of "strength" People are trying to be normal and taking each moment as it comes. So don't tell someone "Wow, I admire how strong you are !"
- Don't assume that you know "how well I have taken the bad news" - You weren't around to know what it is like. You have no idea how many tummy flips and crazy migraines the person went through. So assumptions - no !
- If you have witnessed the death scene - then - unless asked - please don't describe the scene to the absent grieving members. Let family or close friends take on that task.
- There is no "right" or "wrong" age to die. Just because a dog is 14 years old or a man is 85 doesn't give you the authority to decide that "it's okay for death to have come knocking"
- Just because the man of the house has left behind a family - "marriage" is not the next best option for any of the children. They have a life to lead. Study, earn money and deal !
- You may have never had pets or interacted with any. So don't disregard someone's grief over their lost pet. He/she was a member of the family - not for you but for them, yes.
- Don't pretend to care when you don't.
- Do your best to stay around but not step on toes and intrude.
- Do not post your condolence messages on social networking sites for the whole world to see. Especially, not on people's statuses. If you can and want to - drop by, call or send a sms. If you can't do any of these - then just smile when you see the person, next.
- Don't be afraid to talk normally about the happenings in your life and laugh or sing. But, pick on cues and non-verbals of the grieving person before going 'over-board.'
- Don't tell someone "I can see you have gone through a lot" - unless you really 'know' - because let's face it, you don't - one can "only imagine."
- If you can't say something appropriate, then keep shut. Don't say anything at all. Trust me, they'll be grateful.
- Give people space. Give them time. If you can't - then you're free to walk away. I'm sure they wouldn't mind.
I could go on and on...Somehow, I feel - it will not be worth it. Let's hope this is a small beginning for how we should conduct ourselves when in such situations.
As they rest peacefully....
We say a little prayer
We hope that they're happy
They will be waiting
at the check-out counter
We wait here,
tears and memories as company
As they rest peacefully....