Things People Will Say That Make You Want To Smack Them 5 Ways From Sunday
Let me start by saying - I have probably said all of these things to someone who is grieving - and yes I do wish I had a time machine so I could go back and smack my own damn self. However - today I don't have said machine, so all I can do is tell you that you will likely hear these things from most people because our society doesn't equip us to deal with grief until we're in the thick of it. We live in a "fix-it" world where people who love you so so dearly just want you to stop hurting. They don't know what to say (unless they've gone through an epic loss themselves). So, they say the things that we've all been conditioned to say without any thought. I have heard all of these and every single one came from someone who I profoundly care for - but who I also wanted to punch in the face when they said it.
Here are the top 5 cringiest ones:
1) "He/she is in a better place"
2) "It was God's (or insert universe/Allah/whatever you believe) plan"
3) "At least you had him/her/them for as long as you did"
4) "This will only make you stronger" and/or "you're stronger than you think"
And finally, the one I hate THE MOST - which incites blinding rage (and if I wasn't afraid of jail because orange isn't my colour and I'd totally end up as someone's bitch)....I would straight cold cock people for......
5) "EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON"
Sadly society seems to frown upon randomly smacking people - so let's go ahead and not to do. Instead, here's what I'll say. You'll hear these. Maybe some. Maybe all. You will get angry or worse you'll feel shittier because so many of these either dismiss your loss or give a sense of some kind of lottery/non lottery that you just lost.
But, this is as bad as you think it is and you're not ok. You being not ok - is TOTALLY OK. Grief is an extension of love. It will hurt so so fucking badly - because you loved them so much. You don't need solutions. You don't need to move on right away (or under some bullshit arbitrary timeline). You don't need to be fixed. What you're going through is really hard and its ok to give yourself space to acknowledge just how goddam hard it is.
It will be 9 months this week since I felt like a piece of my insides was brutally ripped out and my brother passed away suddenly, and a year and a half since my father also passed away without warning. I still hear these things and I STILL want to backhand people when I do. But, these days (if I'm in the mood and sometimes I'm really fucking not) I try to explain to the people that matter.....that what I need most right now - is connection, not correction. I need to let my grief be seen and heard not shhh-d. So if you needed permission - consider it given - to ask people to not speak, not fix and just be in this with you.
Until next time - I offer you a digital hug and a warm cup of tea,