In life, many of us find it difficult to determine the balance between two differing sides. The ability to walk directly between two behaviors is very important when it comes to the phase of grief that I am talking about today.
Once all the services are over, all the condolences have been read, and all the grievers have gone, the loss stays. Even still, you may be required to get back into your daily life and your daily schedule. For many, it is helpful to have a place to go and something to do, and while every person grieves differently, many will agree that getting back to “normal” can be comforting.
Sometimes the people that you interact with in your daily life will pretend that nothing ever happened. They will act as if you didn’t just go through this huge, difficult loss. Other times they will tiptoe around your feelings, look at you with sad eyes, and create a big elephant in the room.
What we need instead is to understand compassion. Compassion doesn’t require you to have sad eyes, worry about what you say, or stop being yourself. Compassion recognizes the loss and shows concern through helpful action. It is strong. It is aware of emotions and feelings and behaves accordingly. It lifts people up and encourages. It takes in sorrow and replaces it with hope.Compassion walks the line between indifference and pity.
And if we want to be helpful, we need to find that line.
On a side note, be the friend that remembers the important dates on someone’s grief timeline. Remember their loved one’s birthday, their wedding anniversary, and their first time being without Dad on Father’s day. Be the friend that remembers every single year. Be aware that on certain days they will feel the loss all over again. Remembering is one of many ways to show your compassion.
Don’t forget that when a person passes, the grieving process doesn’t end when the services do. Learning how to behave in the weeks and months following a death is just as important as learning how to act at the funeral. Remember what compassion is, and learn how to walk the line.