How Do We Respond To Ways Others Grieve?on June 25th, 2012
Taken at our spot during my run on Wednesday June 19th.
Wishing Hubbie was with me to enjoy this beautiful day. Always with me.
For 27 months I was apprehensive about tagging Greg in any new photos (taken after losing him) because of any potential backlash from people.
Honestly I was afraid one of my in laws would do or say something that would hurt my feelings even more than they already have.
In June 2012, I tagged Greg for the first time in a pretty landscape photo taken at our spot at the park we often went to.
June 20th I posted and tagged Greg in another photo. (the photo included in this posting) And I got a backlash comment. The photo was of another landscape photo at our spot.
This time a friend of Greg’s that I have never met, had the audacity to make a very inappropriate and disrespectful comment.
Initially, I considered deleting the comment all together. Then I took a breath and in a rare moment of clarity my widda brain got it together. I decided to keep the comment and respond tithe post in a calm and respectful manner.
The main points Greg’s friend made were:
- I “should” let Greg’s page go
- I “should” have closure by now
- Comparing loss of his father to my loss of my spouse
- Compared his experience of multiple losses to my loss of Greg
- Stating how he deleted his father’s Facebook page “out of respect” for his dad
- He did not know we still had Greg’s page up because quote, “its been a long time”
- That i “should not” “dwell”
- That i “should not” write on Greg’s page like he is going to read it because Greg can’t read it because quote “Greg has no access to Facebook” . Which Greg’s friend promised me this.
My response was:
“I know you and I have not met. Your comment is both inappropriate and disrespectful.
People grieve differently. Greg will always be with me (and everyone else that he loved) as your father will always be with you.
We chose to keep Greg’s page how it was when we lost him out of respect for him and also for a place where people can post pictures and write messages. It was our choice not yours.
Yes it’s been 27 months and several of us still write and post and read Greg’s page. If thats uncomfortable for you then don’t read it. But also don’t tell Greg’s family how to grieve and remember him. Because we all love and miss him very much and his absence is something that we live with every day.”
Since this picture was posted on my Facebook page and I “tagged” Greg in it means that people who are friends with Greg, can see this photo; even if they are not friends with me. Hence why this person was able to comment on this photo to begin with.
I decided to use this situation as a teachable moment, to educate others on grief and talking to those who are grieving.
(And I am SO VERY PROUD OF MY WIDDA SISTERS! Who respectfully commented to this person, and who validated what I was doing, who gave support and encouragement and who had my back. Never mess with a widow, because you mess with one, you mess with us all. Love you girls. Thanks again for having my back).
A few points that I would like you take away from this post:
- Grief is a universal experience, however each experience is unique. No two journeys are the same. Two widows are not going to have the same story and journey. Two bereaved parents are not going to have the same story and journey.
- Everyone grieves differently. There is no “wrong” way or “right” way to grieve as long as you are not physically harming yourself or suicidal.
- Since everyone grieves differently something that I do may be something that you do not do and vice versa. Something that you chose to do, I might not do. But what works for me, works for me and what works for you works for you. Does that mean I am right and you are wrong? Or I am wrong and you are right? NO IT DOES NOT.
- Unforchantly, the society in which we live is grief phobic and quick to judge.
All i ask is that you be respectful of other people’s journeys. Please refrain from judging others and what they chose to do, even if you do not agree with it. And surely do not say inappropriate things to their face. That is just rude.
I have had the opportunity to “meet” so many grieving people in the last 27 months and hear their stories and walk beside them on their grief journey. I have met people who grieve similar to how I grieve. I have met people who grieve differently than i do. I have met people who do things as they work through their grief that i would have never thought of doing. But i do not judge them for it.
I know its hard for you to do, but do not judge a person if you have not experienced what they have.
And even if you have experienced the same thing, try to show support and encouragement to them. That is what they NEED.
I know it is hard for people to think of loss, but reframe it this way.
If i loss my spouse would i want someone to tell me what i am about to tell them?
If I loss my child would i want someone to tell me what i am about to tell them?
If i loss my parent or grandparent or legal guardian would i want someone to tell me what i am about to tell them?
If i lost my pet would i want someone to tell me what i am about to tell them?
If i lost my friend would i want someone to tell me what i am about to tell them?
What Do Grieving People Need?
Encouragement, Support, Love, Hugs, Prayers.
Enjoy the time you have with your loved ones because you may not have tomorrow.
Never judge what someone else is going through or how they cope/ deal with/ or how they work through it everybody’s life journey is different. Who are we to judge? Who are we to judge how someone copes with loss? Who are we to judge someone who is trying to live with loss the only way they know how?
Hope you have a blessed day.
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