Put yourself in other’s shoes

It’s coming up to a year since Julian passed and what a year it has been.
Apparently what I write is helpful, and so I have written some random musings.

“The experience of grief is like going into space” in other words unless you have been into space you cannot truly understand, and if you haven’t experienced grief, you have no clue.

The past year has been a rollercoaster of emotions – Julian dying, Theo getting sick, my best friends husband dying and lockdown.
Sometimes I feel I am on a rollercoaster going round and round stuck in my grief, watching life go on for everyone and other times I am on the ground watching people on the rollercoaster having fun and screaming with uninhibited joy or fear.

Lisa Farrell wrote an article for the Times about GRIEF
“….grief does not creep up on you. It hits like a tidal wave, a boxers blow, squeezing you, pulping you, beating you, silencing you, until the life blood is gone…..Grief is not a feather. It is an internal bomb, ticking away relentlessly until you explode, crying and crumbling into a sickening wreck.”

At Christmas I bumped into a friend – he asked how I was and how Theo was and then went onto say “l don’t know how you do it” at the time I thought “how the f….. do you think?”
Now I realise that people genuinely cannot put themselves in someone else’s shoes. It is too frightening to imagine losing a partner or a child, and that is what I think we all need to start doing.
Start thinking if I lost my partner, my Parent or my best friend, how would I like people to respond.
Think before you post on social media
Think before sending photos of happy family gatherings to someone recently bereaved.
Think about whom you are talking to and what you are saying. I was recently with a group of girlfriends, and one of the ladies said ( numerous times) how awful it must be to be on your own during the pandemic. There were two of us who had lost partners and were on our own. I think she presumed my kids were staying with me, but they were not.
Think of people who have lost a parent or a child on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day and how raw it is for them, especially the first.
Keep in contact, whether it be by text or email. The odd txt asking how you are means everything because as much as the bereaved person desperately wants to get back on the rollercoaster with their friends and family and get on with ‘life’ that takes effort and a strength.
Don’t presume that what you think you would want is necessarily what the grieving person or family wants.

Don’t be frightened of imagining yourself in their shoes as grief is not catching!