I had the opportunity to attend an event last week where the speaker, Amy Florian, spoke about grief and helping someone grieving. This was her story.
She was a newly married 25-year-old with a 7-month-old son when her husband was killed instantly in a car crash. She received the call, and her life changed forever.
We all know these stories, and like the others, she experienced pain and grief that went on for years. The lack of any real comfort from loved ones not only made her want to hide away, but it eventually motivated her to study grief and to find the best ways to comfort those we love.
I left the event wishing I'd heard this years ago, but it was so much deeper than that. I also learned that you should address the loss, not just for a couple of years, but forever.
I've always wanted to make the grieving person feel comforted and that I care, but I never knew how. The evening was enlightening.
She spoke about the importance of talking about the person and how much they meant to you. Say their name, and share old stories, let them know you miss their presence. People are sometimes nervous about bringing up the person who passed away because you think they may not want to hear about it. That is the furthest thing from the truth. The worst thing is when people don't talk about who died as though they never even existed. Loss and grieving is a part of life, and the more openly you share in it, the more comforting it will be
Also, people experience grief for many reasons, not necessarily only when a loved one dies. It makes sense why some things are harder to get over than others, such as:
-Loss of material such as a home burning down and losing all your belongings.
-Loss of function where you're no longer able to do the things you used to.
-Relationship loss through divorce, or even becoming an empty nester.
-Intra-psychic Loss is when you finally realize you will not achieve your life dreams.
– When your role changes as when the caregiver becomes the care receiver.
Amy's life has since moved on. She has remarried and had more children, yet the feeling of grief still comes and goes. Then, she shared what she believed is the most important thing you can learn from death's reality.
She said, "Everything I have is going to disappear. When you know, it changes the way you live."
It was an incredible evening, and this is some of her advice:
-Forgive old resentments and wounds and reunite with those you'd miss.
-Say I love you every time you hang up the phone or leave a loved one.
-Live in the moment and appreciate the people who are here now.
-Make the most of what you have today.